Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks to educators in Ohio

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks to educators in Ohio

VAN WERT, OH (WTOL) - Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited the Early Education Center in Van Wert Thursday morning.

During visit, DeVos spoke to kids in the classroom, helping them with projects and getting a feel for the small public school district.

The American Federation of Teachers President, Randi Weingarten accompanied Secretary DeVos to the meeting.

Weingarten said it was important for the union to show how much the community loves their public schools.

DeVos says she reached out to Weingarten after her confirmation, saying she wanted to tour a school with Weingarten.

"It is clear that this community has invested heart and soul into the students here and the students that you serve. And I am just so grateful to have had the opportunity to see and to learn from you," Secretary DeVos said.

Despite the moment of coming together, there were still important issues concerning the future of public schools.

There were protesters who gathered at the school to protest DeVos and support public education.

One of the protesters was Jayne Smith, the grandmother of a special needs child. She says she is concerned at what charter schools could mean for her child.

"We don't want their programs to be cut and if anything, we need them better funded," Smith said.

Weingarten says it is no secret they are fighting some of the budget cuts.

"Today's visit was much more about the proactive, positive, what happens when schools work together, when they engage in the strategies," Weingarten said.

However, Secretary DeVos says she would like to ultimately provide more options for students.

"That would be a choice made positively by parents, not dictated, or not mandated," DeVos said. "The fear of a negative impact on a school that is meeting the needs of its students very low actually."

Secretary DeVos says she needs time to digest the visit before taking any action in response to the visit.

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