You inspire me. Thank you!

Today I watched as the Vice President broke a tie vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, ignoring the voices of over a million Americans. I am not deterred because of what we accomplished together. Betsy DeVos may be education secretary, but she has no mandate. In fact, she has the opposite because of you.

Thanks to you we are stronger and more ready than ever to protect our students and public schools. The true greatness of our country could not be better demonstrated than in what you have done in the last few weeks to fight for our nation’s more than 50 million public school students..

56 Responses to “You inspire me. Thank you!”

  1. Jan Chamberlin

    I’m glad so many people have come together.
    Was it legal for the BP to ignore 1 million voices opposed to this choice?
    What do we do next, friend?

  2. Woody

    I agree with you when you say we are stronger. Organizing is a long term affair.

  3. Rev Phyllis Frechette

    Keep talking and pointing out truths!

  4. Kiana Jade

    Coming from a 15 year old high school student, this warms my heart and makes me feel validated. Thank you. I will not stop fighting for my rights. Our rights.

    • Shelia Sutton

      I teach high school, and you, dear one, just made my day with your comment!

  5. Dr. William O. Welsh III

    We deeply appreciate the acknowledged inspiration. Equally we must recognize there are many legitimate criticisms of our country’s education systems that do desperately require solutions. Blessings

    • Holly Howes

      And those very things that need solutions stem from the years of a failed “No Child Left Behind”, which also came out of a very blind Republican Agenda. They left so many children behind that we’re still trying desperately to help them as our funding and support dwindle each year. We’re required to do more with less, and the ones who are suffering are our children. Despite that, many students are succeeding by the efforts of dedicated teachers and administrators, who persevere despite the lack of state and federal support. Now it appears that our jobs will be even harder under Ms. DeVos and the federal administration.

      • Virginia Pierce

        It’s NOT only our children who will suffer from the Money-Motivated RIGHT’s choices, which are clearly WRONG, but our country — ALL of U.S. Is this the path for “Making America Great Again”? Yes, if you believe a chronic liar — he even lies about his lies (ALTERNATIVE FACTS)! We need an ALTERNATIVE PRESIDENT SOON!!

        • Linda C.

          Amen to that, Sister! :) I got a chuckle on your comment…made my day!

  6. Mary Lu Orr

    Thank you for this encouragement. We MUST KEEP OUR SCHOOLS on the roads to improvement and figure out how to stop our taxpayer money from being being stolen by private religious schools and faux home schooling! How can we accomplish this??

  7. Henry Leca

    We have to keep Devos and the Trump administration under a very watchful eye.

  8. Naomi Kikue Poindexter

    Thank you Lily Eskelsen Garcia- Thank you for leading the opposition to a secretary that is not informed about public education. Thank you for keeping us united. This is a marathon and not a sprint.

  9. Doris Baker

    I am proud to be a lifetime member of the NEA when I heard you stand up for the public schools. I was a local leader and active in ISTA in the 70s-90s and know how much time and energy it takes to help public education. Thank you for standing up for teachers.

  10. Nancy Roessel

    I called my representatives in Washington more than once and This is what I get. My representatives do not represent the people they are out for themselves and to get richer and richer from our billionaire and corporate government system. Marco Rubio took over $90000 from this Education Secretary. This should be illegal!!!!!! Our president has not released his tax returns or divested from his businesses and also plans to enrich himself from his presidential power. This must be stopped!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Jody P Santangelo

    Thank you for your kind words, I’ve spent the last 4 weeks crafting letters, making phone calls and marching. I’ve worked diligently to make sure my letters were well thought out, inspiring, and truthful. Today was a difficult day for those of us who teach. Especially, for educators who have children w/disabilities.

    Equally, for our students who are from diverse backgrounds, this will be a challenging season. Today I am dispirited, I’ll go home at the end of the day and lick my wounds.

    I’ll conclude with a few words from Albert Einstien, they remind me not to take myself to solemnly…

    “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” I will do my best to ensure that our children develop curious open-minds. and allow the wonders of the planet to surround them.

  12. Said Toney

    Lily, you are wonderful. I have been inspired by you and if I could give you a hug through the computer, I would. I also would like to say that I am still in my kung fu stance ready to duke it out for our kids and our public school system. I’m still ready to write letters, emails, and make phone calls. I still haven’t forgotten about Trumps picks for the EPA and Secretary of Health and Human Services. Let’s continue the same work to voice our opinions of Tom Price and Scott Pruitt. We may have lost one, but let’s keep after this thing.


    Said Toney

  13. Said Toney

    Lily, you are wonderful. I have been inspired by you and if I could give you a hug through the computer, I would. I also would like to say that I am still in my kung fu stance ready to duke it out for our kids and our public school system. I’m still ready to write letters, emails, and make phone calls. I still haven’t forgotten about Trumps picks for the EPA and Secretary of Health and Human Services. Let’s continue the same work to voice our opinions of Tom Price and Scott Pruitt. We may have lost one, but let’s keep after this thing.


    Said Toney

  14. Aimee Lee Cheek

    We must be proud that we fought the good fight and invigorated to march on.

  15. Kathleen Adler

    Thanks for your elegant words — you turned a critical disappointment into something of hope that project into a better future. I’m with you all the way!

  16. Barbara Harris

    Gracias – as you note, we are stronger together and public school education is our standard. We’ll keep focused and our voices will be heard . Our children deserve no less.

  17. Amanda Swan

    What are the next step? The women’s march was huge. I have to imagine an educators march would draw just as many supporters.

  18. Pam Taverner

    Thanks for the smile and the encouragement, Lily. I miss seeing you! (Pam from Kansas)

  19. Lee Kotter

    Now is the time for all good educators to come to the aid of their profession. It’s time to pull together as union workers, whether you have one or not, whether you can bargain or not, whether you can (legally) strike or not, to save the students in K-12 and higher ed that you’ve already sacrificed so much for.

    I’m calling for an organized, nationwide walkout before summer term/quarter/semester. I’m calling on the NEA and AFT and other education unions and their locals to start organizing this NOW. I’m calling on parents and students to get behind it and demand the resignation of Betsy DeVos before she can do to the nation what she’s done to Michigan’s public schools.

    I’m calling on teachers and educators to stop sucking up to people whose only expertise is having been a student at one time. Start acting like the professionals you are and say NO to fad education policies of unproven worth, unsupported by research. Say NO to the quantification of everything. Say NO to time spent on test prep instead of teaching. Demand Art, Humanities, recess, and creativity.

    But most of all, WALK OUT TO SHOW YOU MEAN IT.

  20. JoLyn Chappell

    Lily, you are an awesome leader! You our fearless leader in Utah against the voucher system, and now there is this, vouchers OD’ing on steroids.
    I am no longer a teacher, not retired, just tired. I admire those who have been able to stick with it.
    I will make this comment quick. PLEASE make a statement that will ring around the world. Why not lead a teachers’ strike. Demand that DeVos step down. It no longer works to say your piece then keep the peace, or go along and get along. REVOLT! Put education back into the hands of you professionals for the sake of our children and our nation at large. PLEASE!

  21. Gloria Smith

    We need to work toward replacing the Republican Senators who ignored 1 million Americans!! Let’s be ready for the November 2018 election too!!

  22. Sharon Senger

    I was feeling pretty discouraged after hearing the results of the vote for Betsy DeVos, but your message was heartening. I also contacted my senator and representatives several times. You are right that we must stay on top of the actions taken by Mrs. DeVos and the Trump administration. We cannot let them destroy our public school system!

  23. Sue

    I was so upset today to hear the news. I have already e-mailed senators, and felt like (yet again) the voters really have no voice. Thank you for standing up for teachers, public education, and for giving us some hope.

  24. Gloria Smith

    We need to be organized and ready to mount a campaign to vote out the Republican Senators who refused to listen to 1 million Americans! November 2018!!

  25. Richard Browning

    Maybe the country will now get out from under the clutches of the NEA and pathetic teaching.

  26. Abalino Velasquez Jr.

    I called and e-mailed my senator to make sure I was hear (more than once) and that we as union members need to stand up and show our opposistion to the Trump administration that has decide to go ahead an ignore the 1 million Americans in making DeVos Education Secretary , what else will we have to fight for during this administration, UNITED WE STAND we are one voice.

  27. Howard Ylinen

    I am a 28 year public school teacher(retired) and I am ready to fight to the death to get someone who knows what it takes to keep public schools going. What can I do?

  28. William & Kristine O'Malley

    My husband and I are retired public school educators who support Betsy DeVos and are proud of Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education. We do not support the NEA’s position. It would be in your best interest to learn to get along with our newly elected Secretary of Education.
    William & Kristine O’Malley

  29. Sylvia Lawings

    We’ve just begun to fight….

  30. Cheryl Spraetz

    Thank you, Lily. I taught HS English for 33 years, and you can bet I used my writing and speaking skills to try to persuade my Republican senator! I love to hear encouragement from people like you. This will be a long fight, but we will are united with truth on our side!

  31. Gina Harada

    Thank you for your encouraging words! I know I am one of many heart-broken teachers but I also know that I am part of the greatest union who will always fight for our kids!

  32. Michele Stern

    As a retired Spanish teacher you have encouraged me to keep fighting.
    I hope that all the educators like myself, retired and active show their voices and opinions so that all children may get the rich education that they deserve.
    That is possible only with the guidance of a strong and knowledgeable administration who sets the best standards for them.
    Thank you Lily Garcia, Gracias por su ayuda!

  33. Patricia Pasley

    I am a retired public school teacher. I want to say thank you to you and all others who give their best for all children and do not let personal ideas interfere with assisting all children to succeed.


    I am confident that our fight is not over that it has just begun. Lily from all of us here in Aiken SC area stands with you and supports you and most of all thank you for being that voice of perseverance who seek the highest quality for our schools, teachers and our children. My soul is at a weary place for our democracy within Washington DC government. When a person is elected for a job to fight on our behalf and to listen to us as a people it should count for something. This is a sad day because in Washington they do not care about the people voice anymore. They have got away with so many things that it has become a way of nature to do the policies their way rather or not a person is qualified to hold a position. This nomination was a serious slap in the face for the protection of of our school. So I say to you Lily that I will stand with you through the upcoming battle for our education purposes. So again thank you for the fight.

  35. J. A. Wilkins

    Education is the second most expensive alternative.

    In a way I was glad to see the posting from Richard Browning; it shows something hit a nerve. The country “under the clutches of the NEA”? What’s pathetic isn’t teaching; it’s the mentality that either doesn’t see or resents its value, and sees it as a threat,

    The nomination of Betsy DeVos and today’s vote forced into the open the the vandals at the gates of civilization who would trifle with our schools as another plaything for indulging their wealth and influence.

    This is what is pathetic.

  36. Debbie restivo

    Dear Lily, I thought about you today, as I have so many days since BDV was announced as his nominee. How in the world, I’ve wondered, are you going to be able to deal with this character? Well, I know you know we all have your back. I hope you can feel the love and admiration and gratitude we all have for you as you get ready to put up your “dukes” and get to work on this regime’s awful agenda. Thank you for fighting the good fight!

  37. Maria Nevarez

    Thank you Lily,

    I called, emailed, posted on my senator’s facebook page to plead for our students along with thousands others, but Sen. Cornyn decided to put forward his agenda instead of listening to his constituents. I am ashamed and disheartened but will continue to fight.

  38. Kathy

    Thank you Lily, you have inspired me and countless others many times at the RA. We always are there with you.

  39. Robert Miles

    Any public school teachers inside the US should be interested in this site:

    Sorry to those outside the US – it’s unlikely to be useful to you.

  40. Anne Marie Fletcher

    I hope that the impetus to work for a more favorable roster of leaders in the Midterm elections will result from this disappointing vote.
    Apparently only the possible loss of a lucrative seat in Congress moves the present occupants.
    We need to pay close attention to those running for office and work hard for intelligent, thoughtful representatives.

  41. Lisa Coburn

    We won’t stop! We are here, and we know more than B.D.V., we cannot let her mess with our students and our teachers! Keep speaking up and keep your spirits high!
    Thank you Lily for your brave leadership.

  42. Linda C.

    Thank you, Lily, for you efforts. As a native New Jerseyan, we know what it’s like to fight for rights, as you may well know from our governor (right-hand man to Trump…or so HE thought!). Keep us posted! Look forward to attending the NEA Convention this year and hearing all.

  43. John Sonderegger

    I think some of the people speaking out against DeVos are just following what the party or teacher’s union says. I hear that people say she is unqualified but has been focused on education in Michigan most of her life. She may be pushing for things with which you disagree.
    I live in Michigan and she has been a champion for school choice, charter schools and school vouchers for over 20 years and very active on the subject. Statistics on charter schools are very difficult to pin down as are many social science statistics. However, go into any big city public school and tell me it is working. My review of the literature on the subject is that charter schools are working. Those inner city children should have a choice just like the rich kids. In Michigan, where the teacher’s union is very powerful, vouchers have been blocked. I feel for the poor inner city families stuck in the failing state operated schools. I trust the parents to hold the schools accountable.
    I think the DeVos opposition is coming from the teacher’s union. This NPR story calling the graduation rates a “mistake” is misleading at best. The graduation rate statistic is one that everyone should understand before just reading and agreeing with NPR. I should add, NPR has taken the cowardly step of removing comments from their web site because they don’t want to be called on their bias. All schools play games with graduation rates. The rates she quoted are for students that remained enrolled but failed to graduate. Let us take the example of a student that transfers; should that hurt your graduation rate? Of course not but the NPR rate has them in the number not graduated. So, how do you track students that leave your school? Do you call them “drop outs”? Some are but how do you track that? It is a straw man.
    This is coming from someone that did not vote for Trump. There is a great deal with which I disagree. However, when a crazy person runs out of a building yelling “fire”, one should check.

  44. Jack Pflug

    As a retired teacher (31 years in the trenches), it is beyond my comprehension that a group of supposedly educated Republican senators would approve a totally unqualified person to head the Department of Education. It is outrageous that U. S..politics has evolved to the point that political party affiliation is more important than concern for the human condition.

  45. Michele

    Thank you for your leadership, Lily Eskelsen Garcia! I appreciate the emails and updates! We will remain vigilant to protect our students, public education, and one another!

  46. Lily

    Here are some ideas on how to speak up, stand up for our schools and students. Everyone has a role.

  47. Barbara Plate

    It is up to the education community to lead the way. As an activist in college in the 60’s and through my 40-year career, it was proven time and again that being vocal and “active” can change the opinions and outcomes. Thank to Lily and all the other NEA leaders for their guidance.


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