Honorable Senator Bill Cassidy
520 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Cassidy,
I am writing to you to express my discontent with your recent votes and actions regarding education. Earlier this month, you voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. You did this even after receiving thousands of phone calls and emails from across the state asking you to oppose her. In addition, during a FaceBook “Town Hall,” you were bombarded with complaints about your support of DeVos. That video has received well over 20,000 views and more than 4500 comments; most of which were in opposition of DeVos.
For weeks, I have anticipated the much publicized “town hall discussions” that members of Congress would be having during the short break from session; which happens to be over Mardi Gras break. I have learned that the meetings you have scheduled with various associations are taking place in the evenings, while the “town halls” are taking place during the regular work day. In addition, the St. Martinville Republican Executive Committee, which is hosting the forum closest to me, has asserted that they will not allow entrance to protesters, and remove anyone who intends to oppose your agenda.
Now, I understand how you could find yourself caught between a rock and a hard place, from time to time, being committed to the Republican party and having to represent all constituents; including the ones who didn’t vote for you. As an education advocate, who reaches thousands of readers weekly, there are a couple of things that I would like you to understand.
- When your wife’s charter school was threatened with losing its charter, I defended it and reached out to your wife asking her to join us in fighting for a fair and equitable accountability plan. La. Key Academy is one of only a handful of schools that actually fits the description and serves the type of students that a charter school should. Now, the school has been given a free pass under alternative accountability, and we are still stuck with an unfair system.
- More than 80% of school age children in Louisiana are served by public schools. The parents of the vast majority of those students are satisfied, and actually prefer, the education they get in public schools. Those parents are Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
- While you were elected in a red state, the people who vote Republican do so because they favor “conservative values,” but aren’t necessarily completely familiar with the platform’s agenda. The Republican education platform was largely shaped by Ms. DeVos’ efforts over twenty years. Parents in Louisiana do not support the privatization of public education and the funding of private education with tax payer dollars.
Your actions over the last few weeks indicate to your constituents that you intend to push an agenda on the parents and students of Louisiana that they do not want. Your approval rating has dropped significantly. I hope that you can find it in yourself to solicit responses from your constituents on the issues before you and stop supporting the agendas of the non-residents who have contributed nicely to your campaign.