McMinnville School District prepares for Betsy DeVos visit

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2017, file photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos speaks at George Mason University Arlington, Va., campus. Students who attended for-profit colleges were twice as likely or more to default on their loans than students who attended public schools, according to a new federal study. The report comes as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rewrites rules that had been put in place by the Obama administration to protect students who said they were defrauded by their for-profit colleges. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will visit McMinnville Wednesday for a tour of the school district and protesters plan to be there as well.

Action Together Oregon: Yamhill Valley organized the protest for Wednesday afternoon. They want DeVos to keep big business out of schools and fully fund public education.

Local officials asked protester to stay off school property and on the sidewalks.

McMinnville students said they were shocked and happy the secretary of education wants to know more about the high school. They plan on giving a few presentations for her.

Some suspect DeVos may be interested in the district’s graduation rates, which are at 87 percent.

Hispanic students make up the district’s largest minority group. They have a graduation rate close to 89 percent.

The school district said high school students can earn college credits and the education programs are tailored for real world careers.

“It is a great honor for a school to be recognized at any time. And so, when someone is interested in learning what you are doing that is working well, you know we want to be able to share that information,” said Dr. Maryalice Russell, McMinnville School District superintendent.

Russell hopes people will put party politics aside during DeVos’ visit at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

She said instead of protesting, she’d like to see people uphold the great work facility and staff put into the programs, truly honoring the students.

She believes the experience will show it’s possible for K-12 programs to succeed when people work together.

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