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Terrace Park protesters ask Sen. Portman to vote against Betsy DeVos for education secretary

'She's never served as a teacher'
Posted at 11:29 PM, Feb 04, 2017

TERRACE PARK, Ohio -- The group that marched around Terrace Park Elementary School Saturday had a clear message for Senator Rob Portman: Do not vote for Betsy Devos for secretary of education.

The Senate voted Friday to advance DeVos, President Donald Trump’s nominee. With the final confirmation vote expected Monday, about 100 people marched in Portman's neighborhood in response to a statement he released Thursday endorsing Trump's pick. 

Photo by Matt Citak, WCPO.

Erica McCain organized the demonstration because she doesn’t think DeVos is qualified for the position.

“She’s never served as a teacher, she’s never been an administrator in schools … I really don’t see how she has any kind of experience to lead our nation in education,” McCain said.

In his statement, Portman wrote that he supported Devos "because during the confirmation process she committed to strongly support public education and because of her support for local control, instead of having the federal government dictate education policy at the state and local level." 

Photo by Matt Citak, WCPO.

But McCain is concerned that DeVos’ main focus is charter schools. McCain’s 8-year-old daughter is in the public school system, and building up public schools, she said, is imperative for America to improve the quality and availability of education.

“She’s deeply committed to charter schools, and it looks like she’s also committed unfortunately to funneling money away from our public school system, and that’s not what we need in America today,” McCain said. “We really need to get to be number one in education, and sending money from our public schools into charter schools is not the way to do it.”

Photo by Matt Citak, WCPO.

OP-ED: Betsy DeVos is a bad choice for secretary of education

DeVos has received criticism from Democrats and lost support from two key Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, for her positions on public and charter schools.

But Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, said in a statement that he was "pleased" to support DeVos, citing her work in the conservative education reform movement over the years.

Despite losing support from some Republicans, she is expected to be confirmed Monday with the help of Vice President Mike Pence, who will be in the chamber to break an expected 50-50 tie.

CNN contributed to this report.