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Michael Futch

The Fayetteville Observer

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos came to Fayetteville on Tuesday and heard from leaders from Black-led schools about how they have worked to expand education options for students and their parents.

Devos led a roundtable discussion at Alpha Academy off Raeford Road.

Joining DeVos was a panel of 14 people, including administrators from Alpha and other charter schools across the state, a pastor, two North Carolina state representatives, parents and a grandmother who is a retired educator with 30 years in the public schools system. She now has three grandchildren who have attended the host academy.

Eugene Slocum, superintendent of Alpha Academy, said the idea behind his public charter school was simple — “teaching. Teaching the child.”

DeVos is known for her support of school choice, school voucher programs and charter schools.

She also has supported President Donald Trump’s push to fully reopen schools, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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“The success of Black students and of all students has been a high priority of this administration — for President Trump and for me.”

That, DeVos added, is why the administration supports the School Choice Now Act, legislation designed to ensure that kindergarten through 12th-grade students can return to the private school they attended before the pandemic and to create opportunity for more families to choose an option that will work best for their child.

“Parental school choice is what Americans need right now and what they want,” she said. “Join me and the president in fighting for that freedom.”

Staff writer Michael Futch can be reached at or 910-486-3529.

Timber Wolf