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Larson Echoes Superintendent's Call and Invites Secretary DeVos to East Hartford

May 26, 2017
Press Release

Hartford, CT – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement after he sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, in response to remarks she made about East Hartford:


“Thomas Jefferson had it right when he said an educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people. A robust public education system is therefore a necessary investment in our nation’s future and the right of every child no matter their socio-economic background or where they matriculate.


“In a recent Congressional testimony on the President’s FY2018 budget, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos used the story of a former East Hartford student, Michael, in describing East Hartford schools as ‘dangerous daycares’. As a former public school educator myself, I am deeply aware of the challenges that our public schools face. The characterization of East Hartford schools as uncaring is absolutely contrary to what I know about our local teachers and faculty who are dedicated to the success of every student.


“While I believe Secretary DeVos’ intentions in highlighting Michael’s experiences came from a good place, we must as a nation lift up all our public schools to succeed rather than further widen the opportunity gap between students who have and have-not.


“That is why I sent a letter to the Secretary DeVos, joining Superintendent Nathan Quesnel in inviting the Secretary to tour our local schools, as well as the East Hartford IB Academy, to get a true sense of the challenges that our public schools face, as well as their absolute commitment to all East Hartford students. I look forward to hosting Secretary DeVos soon and perhaps visiting the iconic Augie & Rays.”


Larson’s letter to DeVos can be viewed here, and he will be following  up with her in person.