DeVos is scheduled to speak at the Washington Policy Center’s annual gala at 7 p.m. Hundreds of people have gathered outside the hotel for a protest against her visit.
What you need to know:
Update, 5:25 p.m.:
The crowd protesting DeVos’s Bellevue visit is growing.
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and King County Executive Dow Constantine will address the group soon.
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We are live streaming the rally on Facebook.
Update, 5 p.m.:
Hundreds of people are chanting and holding signs outside the Hyatt Regency to show their opposition toward the Education Secretary.
Sharonne Navas, an organizer with the Equity in Education Coalition, said the protest helped unify groups of educators and public-education advocates who may not have otherwise come together. She said DeVos personifies what they have been fighting against: A billionaire who has no experience in public education but wants to change policies.
“This is the outcry Washington has been waiting for,” she said.
Among the crowd is Marie Cousey, a retired education who worked in schools in Auburn, Boston and California. She said she attended private schools as a child. But she did not support allowing parents to use public money to pay for private school tuition. “It’ll just spread the resources too thin.”
Brooke Bennett, a 16-year-old junior at Bellevue High, came to the rally with a sign mocking DeVos for her comments at her confirmation hearing that guns in schools could help protect students from bear attacks.
“I’m here to support my teachers,” she said.
The teen said she is also concerned by DeVos’s attempts to roll back protections for victims of sexual assault on college campuses.
Update, 4:35 p.m.:
U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is scheduled to speak at the Washington Policy Center’s annual gala at 7 p.m. Thousands of people are expected to gather outside the hotel for a protest against her visit.
Seattle Times reporters Neal Morton and Paige Cornwell are providing live updates from Bellevue. We’ll post those updates here.