Ugh, Betsy DeVos, please stop. The Secretary of Education recently visited the SLAM charter school created by musician Pitbull and people are not pleased.
SLAM — which stands for Sports, Leadership, and Management, is a charter school based in Miami, although Pitbull has already opened up two more campuses (one in West Palm Beach, and one in Nevada) since the original opening in 2013. Pitbull has long been an advocate for chart schools and even sends three of his six children to charter schools. So it’s no great shock that DeVos would want to team up with the rapper.
But the visit wasn’t exactly a welcome one by her critics. DeVos has been a vocal fan of privatizing public education and has even praised vouchers and tax credits that reward folks for sending their children to private schools.
So what’s the big deal, you ask? The issue is that a majority of private schools are religious and therefore it’s a sneaky way for the government to endorse religious education (aka not a separation of church and state). The issue is that public schools receive funding based on the number of students they have despite the fact that certain expenses — like building costs, for example, remain stagnant. So encouraging parents to send their children to either charter or public schools through government subsidies takes away money from the public schools and the children who depend on them for their education. Honestly, we could go on and on about the issues with DeVos very public actions.
And although DeVos has relatively little power in her position, her nomination to the seat gives those who support voucher systems power and confidence to move forward.
We love Pitbull but we’re saddened to see him collaborate with such a person. Not cool, dude.