Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to visit Nebraska on multistate tour

Baltimore students protest planned Betsy DeVos speech

In this Aug. 9, 2017 file photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is interviewed in her office at the Education Department in Washington. Some University of Baltimore students are speaking out against DeVos, their scheduled fall commencement speaker. A crowd of students filed into a courtyard near the school on Monday, Sept. 11, holding protest signs that read “support public schools #neverDeVos” and “We are DeVos-stated.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will visit with staff and students at the Science Focus Program in Lincoln on Thursday, Lincoln Public Schools officials have confirmed.

DeVos’ visit to Nebraska will be part of a multistate tour of schools with innovative approaches to education.

Lincoln’s Science Focus Program — known as the Zoo School — is part of a partnership with the Lincoln Children’s Zoo and offers many science-centric courses to high-schoolers.

“Our school district looks upon this visit as an exciting opportunity to share information about our Science Focus Program — and our fine Lincoln Public Schools public education system — with the U.S. Secretary of Education,” said Lincoln Superintendent Steve Joel. “The students at Lincoln Public Schools have a wide variety of options and possibilities for their public education: through a rich array of LPS programs, as well as partnerships with local business and industry, higher education institutions, and private and parochial schools.”

DeVos’ office also contacted two other schools about potential visits: Bryan High School in Bellevue, part of the Omaha Public Schools, and the private Nelson Mandela Elementary School in north Omaha. Tours of those schools have not been confirmed yet.

More details about DeVos’ visit to Lincoln will be released later this week, said Mary Kay Roth, a spokeswoman for LPS.

The Lincoln Children’s Zoo will close all day on Thursday.

DeVos’ “Rethink School” tour starts today in Wyoming. There, she’ll visit a teacher-led K-8 school in Casper and St. Stephens Indian High School on the Wind River Reservation.

She’ll also visit schools in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Indiana to highlight teachers or programs taking an outside-the-box approach to education.