Following Secretary Betsy DeVos’s virtual event in North Carolina this afternoon, Representative Ashton Clemmons, a longtime educator and public education advocate, released the following statement:
“Instead of supporting the tens of thousands of public university students across our state, Secretary DeVos has spent her time in office playing politics and pushing a right-wing agenda from the Department of Education. Her record amounts to attempts to interfere with our schools’ curriculum and — in a state with one of the highest numbers of service members — making it harder for veterans to have student loans forgiven. The Trump administration’s failed education agenda is wrong for North Carolina and wrong for our country.”
In September 2019, DeVos ordered UNC and Duke University to change their Middle Eastern Studies curriculum, threatening to cut the schools’ Title VI funding for not portraying enough “positive” imagery of Christianity and Judaism.
Last month, President Trump vetoed an attempt to overturn regulations DeVos put into place that veterans groups said would make it harder to access student loan forgiveness.
Clemmons graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill as a NC Teaching Fellow and taught in Durham and Guilford Counties before earning a Doctorate of Education from UNC-Greensboro. She served as Assistant Superintendent of Thomasville City Schools and sits on the Education K-12 and Education-Universities Committees in the General Assembly.