Saturday’s “March For Public Education” in Washington, D.C. sought to garner droves of protesters akin to crowds that attended the 2017 January Women’s March, but it managed to attract only about one-fiftieth of that number.
The protesters came to decry the Trump administration and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ education policies and their support for allocating funds to school choice and vouchers.
“We’re educators that care about our profession, and we’ve just felt that public education is under threat,” said march co-chair Steve Ciprani according to The Washington Post. “We have felt that way as educators. We felt that way from a professional standpoint. We also felt that way because we are teachers, and we work with students every day.”
Organizers of the “March for Public Education” said they expected thousands of demonstrators to come to the D.C. event, and they were surely disappointed when only a few hundred showed to support the cause. While its Facebook event showed roughly 9,000 people interested and about 1,000 marked that they went, it appears that roughly 400 people actually attended the march WSWS reported Monday.
Ciprani said he was motivated to organize the march — which featured union member speakers and former members of the Obama administration’s education department — after he attended the Women’s March following President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“Education should be free for all” said Shannon, a protestor from Virginia. She told reporters she was protesting “unfair and unequal education [for] kids,” adding that “a child’s quality of education shouldn’t be decided by geography or being born where there are more resources.”
The protesters were also marching to advocate for “safer school cultures” and forgiving college debt said the march’s other co-chair Pavithra Nagarajan according to USA Today. The March For Public Education had also been organized to take place on the same day as the American Federation of Teachers’s (ATF) D.C. meeting.
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