FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 9, 2017

CONTACT:     Chase Thomas | Alliance for a Better Utah | chase@betterutah.org

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Salt Lake City, UT – Hundreds of Utahns are planning to protest later today outside the Grand America Hotel where Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education, will be speaking as part of the ASU + GSV Summit. Alliance for a Better Utah joined with other Utah advocacy groups — Utahns Speak Out and Utah Indivisible — to organize the protest.

Chase Thomas, policy and advocacy counsel with Alliance for a Better Utah, released a statement prior to the protest criticizing Secretary DeVos for her policies and views on public schools.

“It is still unbelievable that the person responsible for the oversight of our nation’s public schools has never actually attended a public school,” said Thomas. “Public education has been a bedrock institution in our nation since the American Revolution. Devos’ extreme support for charter schools and voucher programs at the expense of traditional public schools is troubling for the education of millions of children across the country.”

“Utahns showing up today realize Devos’ views are bad for education,” continued Thomas. “Before her confirmation and since taking office, Devos has been an anti-public school crusader. As shown by the White House’s proposed budget, she continues working towards a national federally-funded voucher program — an approach voters in our state have already rejected. She also recently decided to revoke protections for student borrowers — one of the largest areas of consumer debt and the primary way Americans afford higher education. We hope to send her a message today: as Utahns we do not agree with her actions or what she stands for.”

Ms. DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education earlier this year. Her confirmation process was extremely contentious, with Democrats vehemently opposing her because of her large financial contributions to Republicans and support of public education alternatives. After hearings in which she had trouble answering even minor policy questions, two Republicans voted against her confirmation, resulting in a tie that had to be broken by the Vice President.

Ms. DeVos will be speaking at 2:30 PM at the Grand America Hotel. Protesters will be gathering outside the hotel at 2:00 PM. More information is available here.


About the Alliance for a Better Utah:
Alliance for a Better Utah is a good government advocacy and watchdog organization based in Salt Lake City. The organization works to improve the lives of all Utahns by ensuring balance, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.

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