At the NEA representative Assembly in Boston, President Lily Eskelsen Garcia brought some 8,000 delegates to their feet as she denounced Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump for their abandonment of America’s most vulnerable children and public education.

““This is not a drill,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García told the 2017 NEA Representative Assembly. “We stand in a dangerous place. We stand between a profiteer and his profits. We have a president who resides at the dangerous intersection of arrogance and ignorance and travels with a moral compass that always points to his own self-interest.”

“In her keynote address on Sunday, Eskelsen García laid out in stark terms the dangers posed by the agenda of President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, but reminded the 8,000 delegates gathered in the Boston Convention Center that “we can win. We have the power, and they know it.”

“Eskelsen Garcia recalled how she had to turn down an invitation from DeVos to meet because the new Education Secretary failed to answer simple questions about her commitment to accountability and transparency for charter schools and to protecting our most vulnerable students.

“We have have already seen some of Devos’ answers. She has made it clear that the Education Department under her leadership will pursue the most egregious school privatization agenda in the form of charter school and voucher expansion, and will not protect our most vulnerable students. The Trump/DeVos administration rescinded the Office of Civil Rights letter that the Obama administration sent to districts clearly stating that they were legally responsible for protecting transgendered students from discrimination.

“I will not allow the National Education Association to be used by Donald Trump or Betsy DeVos,” Eskelsen García told the delegates to resounding applause. “I do not trust their motives. I do not believe their alternative facts. I see no reason to assume they will do what is best for our students and their families. There will be no photo-op!”