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Hundreds of California teachers protest Trump's nominee for secretary of education

Eric Heins, president of the California Teachers Assn., is backed by hundreds of union members at a rally in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday where he called for the rejection of Betsy DeVos.

Hundreds of California teachers gathered Saturday in downtown Los Angeles to protest President Trump's nominee for secretary of education, calling her an "extremist" with an "anti-public school agenda."

Members of the California Teachers Assn., which represents 325,000 teachers, urged the rejection of Betsy DeVos nomination at her Senate committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

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"Her blatant extremist, anti-public school political agenda violates every student's civil rights at the most basic level," the CTA said in a statement. "Social justice for all begins with a quality, free public education."

DeVos, a Republican fundraiser from Michigan, has supported the growth of for-profit charter schools and the use of public money to subsidize tuition at private schools. Although Trump said little about education on the campaign trail, he did at one point suggest that legislation to create a major school voucher program would be one of his priorities for his first 100 days.

On Saturday, the National Education Assn. also issued a statement denouncing DeVos' nomination, saying, "she would be the first secretary of Education with zero experience with public schools. She has never worked in a public school. She has never been a teacher, a school administrator, nor served on any public board of education."

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