• Cypress Bay High School - Weston, FL
  • July 13, 2020


In this issue’s recurring segment that explores current event topics affecting the student body, Staffer Sophia Handley speaks to students and teachers about Betsy DeVos, United States Secretary of Education.

United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her ideas have sparked conversation across the nation, especially in the public school system. Recently, DeVos has encouraged parents to send their children to charter and magnet schools. Charter schools receive funding from the government but do not have to follow state regulations because they are independently run. Magnet schools are schools that specialize or have specialized programs that are offered nowhere else. To make these programs possible, DeVos intends on taking funding away from public schools to further fund and develop the charter and magnet school systems. This action will leave public schools with less money, supplying charter and magnet schools with more resources that only selected studentshave can access. Senior Tyler Nejame says he disagrees with DeVos’s ideas and he said he does not think her ideas will be beneficial for all students.

“Public schools are supposed to be a place for all students in the [U.S.] to be able to get an education and DeVos shouldn’t be promoting against them,” Nejame said. “I find it how DeVos is trying to promote solely charter and magnet schools.”

Nejame said DeVos’s intentions for the school system could be harmful because it would deplete resources that public schools are already lacking.

“Public schools are already lacking necessary supplies and it is not right that they are taking more money away and adding to the current problem,” Nejame said.

Debate teacher Nick Montecalvo said DeVos’s new plans leave a lot of students without the necessary help and support of the school system.

“DeVos is beholden to all of the students of U.S., and I think that singling out charter schools for financial help leaves a lot of students in the dark,” Montecalvo said.

Montecalvo said he understands why DeVos sees potential in this plan but believes it is not the best idea considering it will solely benefit charter and magnet school students in the long run.

“I understand people want to revamp the public school system because it has a lot of issues, but there are other ways to drive innovation that doesn’t involve leaving inner city schools in the lurch,” said Montecalvo.

Junior Raquel Walton said that by promoting charter and magnet schools are not giving students and equal opportunity for a high education because some people aren’t able or eligible to get into these schools.  

“If someone [has a hard time] getting into a charter school due to their abilities, it’s not fair to them to be forced to attend a poorly funded school as well as not be eligible to get into the school with the better funding,” Walton said. “[Students’] intelligence should not be the determining factor of what type of education they receive.”

Walton said DeVos should not promote these schools over regular public schools because these schools are supposed to be the focal point for education.

“Though charter schools may give a different style of education to students because of their curriculums, it isn’t right for the [U.S.] Secretary of Education, who is supposed to be leading the public school system, to be promoting charter schools over regular public schools,” Walton said. “Public schools are supposed to be open to the public and are supposed to be a consistent, reliable good source of education to students, and it surprises me she wouldn’t promote them considering the job that she [holds].”

Nejame said he hopes DeVos will change her opinion and believes that taking money away from public schools is not beneficial to the overall student body of the United States.

“Public schools are extremely important in the United States and need all the money they can get,” said Nejame. “Hopefully, more money will be given to public schools where all students can benefit from it rather than giving the money to charter where only selected students can.”