by Brad Bell
As Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was being confirmed by the U.S. Senate, kindergartners at Lake Arbor Elementary School in Mitchellville were quietly working away, learning a little math.
The students were seemingly unaware of the battle brewing around them.
In Annapolis, Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association, reacted angrily to the news of DeVos' confirmation.
"I wouldn’t want a doctor operating on me who didn’t know anything about medicine," Weller said. "This is somebody that doesn’t know anything about how our public schools work."
Backed by more than two dozen lawmakers, Weller blasted President Donald Trump and in Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan's administration efforts to offer greater public funding to charter, religious and other private schools.
"That doesn’t bode well for our public school students," Weller said.
At Riverdale Baptist School in Upper Marlboro, there is a very different perspective. School officials say public funding for this private school is helping children and the community.
Riverdale Baptist School Administrator Eric Harrison says he hopes for more support.
"I'm a big believer in this school and I'd love for kids to get an opportunity to go to a school like this," Harrison said.