KGUN 9News


Rep. Grijalva says Congress key to defending education

Says President can do little without Congress
Posted at 5:58 PM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 11:52:57-05
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - President Trump's administration has promised changes in a lot of places where government touches our daily lives.  
That includes education.
But Tucson area Congressman Raul Grijalva is worried those efforts would actually destroy public education.
Monday he invited education advocates to share ideas on how to defend public education.  
In the school zone there is extra concern these days.  Schools were already feeling pinched by year after year of tight budgets now there's concern the new administration in DC wants to dismantle public schools altogether."
That's why Congressman Raul Grijalva asked education activists to help develop plans to hold off the changes they fear.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is advocates charter schools which use public money without direct control by an elected school board.  She favors vouchers, which would give families public money to help pay for private school.
Sunnyside school board member Eva Carillo Dong says districts will have to mobilize parents.
"...and let them know these vouchers are not a good thing for your children.  These vouchers will take money away from public education where we have already been losing an incredible amount of money."
Education activist Linda Lyon says even if you don't have children in school. as a taxpayer you should worry whether schools that get government vouchers can prove your taxes are being well spent.
"...and with vouchers, with private schools, you get none of that.  You get no financial visibility and you get no testing result, any academic achievement visibility.  So my right to know how my tax dollars are being used should not be trumped by your right to send your child where you want."
Congressman Grijalva says it's more important to influence members of Congress than the Education Secretary or the President because Congress controls the money.
“They're the ones that are going to empower this administration to do what it wants to do with vouchers and privatization of public education.  It's not going to happen just because he wants to."
Congressman Grijalva says the effort needs to work fast.  He wants to rally support in the next two months.