Education secretary, teachers union chief air differences

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, left, talks with pre-k students Alivia, 5, and Kellen, 5, while visiting Laura Foster's class at the Van Wert Early Childhood Center in Van Wert, Ohio. (Cathie Rowand/The Journal-Gazette via AP)
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Despite their best efforts, tension was on display between Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the head of a national teachers union during their tour of public schools in the northwest Ohio town of Van Wert.

DeVos and the president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, had sought to put aside partisan views of education issues. But they emerged anyway during a news conference Thursday.

DeVos promoted school choice and said families need to have options other than traditional public schools. Meanwhile, Weingarten complained about budget cuts to crucial education programs.

Weingarten said cuts to afterschool programs will be harmful to the Van Wert community and others. In the past she has accused DeVos of "antipathy for public schools" and favoring private and for-profit schools.