McMINNVILLE, Ore. -- U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was greeted by dozens of protesters as she visited McMinnville High School Wednesday afternoon.
The McMinnville School District announced on its website that DeVos “requested a visit of McMinnville Schools to learn about the excellent instructional practices making a difference for students.”
DeVos did not speak at the high school. She took a tour and visited several Engineering & Aerospace Sciences Academy (EASA) classrooms.
DeVos is a champion of charter schools and her critics say her policies could threaten federal funding for public schools. She has also made some controversial changes to federal policy that weakened LGBTQ rights and relaxed sexual assault investigation rules on college campuses.
DeVos had supporters and protesters at Wednesday's crowd near the school.
"Ms. Devos wants to move our funds from funding these teachers doing what they do really well to people that aren't as highly trained and won't get the same kind of outcome from students," said Stephanie Findley, chair of the Yamhill County Democrats.
"She needs some love. You know? I mean she's doing her job. Everywhere she's going she's getting made fun of. Getting all these protesters. People love her. We're gonna show her,” said Jonathan Zimmerman.
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, who represents Oregon's First District, which includes McMinnville, says she welcomes DeVos to Oregon, but she would like the secretary to visit Congress as well.
"It's been eight months since she was sworn in as Secretary of Education, but she has yet to appear before the House Education Committee. As a leader on the Committee, I'm eager to hear directly from the Secretary about her plans to strengthen public education and provide equal access and opportunity for all students regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or zip code,” said Bonamici.
"It is my hope that the Secretary's visit to McMinnville High School will demonstrate the potential of public education and inspire her to work with Congress to pass and implement policies that will lead to all our country's public schools getting the funding and support they need to help every student succeed."