U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to visit Omaha, Lincoln

Posted at 5:49 PM, Sep 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 09:01:36-04

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will visit the Cornhusker state on Wednesday and Thursday, according to her office.

On Thursday, DeVos will visit the Lincoln Public Schools Science Focus Program at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo. At 6 p.m. Wednesday, DeVos will visit Midland University – Omaha Campus.

Details are slim on what will be discussed, however her presence had advocates and opponents talking about the issue.

“I would say there's some concern that there will be continued top down grass-tops pressure toward that agenda that we don't want here,” said Sarah Streyder with the group Stand For Schools.

It's a concern for the Omaha Education Association, too, which wants DeVos to visit metro public schools.

“I think a lot of us would like to take the opportunity and show her what a public school looks like — what an actual public school with children and teachers — and show her she has very little experience in public schools,” OEA president Bridget Donovan said.

Nebraska is just one of six states not allowing charter schools.

Those in favor of charter schools said it’s also a public school and parents should have the choice of their child's educations.

“Every family, regardless of income, should have great choices when it comes to their child's education. For some, that means an excellent district school. For others, it may be a private school. School choice makes that possible,” Katie Linehan said.

Stand For Schools is holding a gathering at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at The Bay in Lincoln.