In her latest pledge to lead an administration that would fight for working Americans, Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday announced that she would only consider former public school teachers to be her education secretary should she be elected president in 2020.
An official who would be able to identify with the thousands of teachers who have rallied at state capitols across the country over the past year, the Massachusetts Democrat argued, would fight for far better policies than those that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has proposed.
"Let's get a person with real teaching experience," Warren wrote in an email to supporters. "A person who understands how low pay, tattered textbooks, and crumbling classrooms hurt students and educators. A person who understands the crushing burden of student debt on students and young professionals and who is committed to actually doing something about it."
Warren directly attacked DeVos in the email and in a video she posted to social media.
"Betsy DeVos is a terrible secretary of education," the senator said bluntly. "But that shouldn't be any surprise. She doesn't really believe in public education."
But Betsy DeVos is just a symptom of a badly broken system. We’re up against powerful forces, and to win, we need big structural change. So here’s my plan: Under a Warren administration, the Secretary of Education will be a public school teacher. pic.twitter.com/4M33NGTNJt
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In her email, Warren noted that DeVos is just one of many Trump administration officials who are "up to their eyeballs in conflicts of interest." DeVos's background includes promoting private and charter schools and investing in for-profit education. As education secretary, she has proposed massive funding cuts for her department and approved plans shielding fraudulent for-profit colleges from accountability.
Warren made the announcement as she was on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania alongside Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. It came three weeks after Warren unveiled a sweeping plan to invest in public education using revenue from her "Ultra-Millionaires' Tax."
"When we fail our teachers, we fail our students—and we fail our future," wrote Warren.