Dr. Jill Biden spoke to a large group of Illinois educators on behalf of her husband’s presidential campaign on Friday.
She spoke with Illinois Education Association members at the annual IEA Representative Assembly, the largest gathering of educators in the state at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont.
She detailed Joe Biden’s education plan. She touched on teacher concerns and talked about his plan to increase funding, as well as make community colleges tuition-free.
Biden is a community college professor and used to teach public high school.
Talking about that experience led to a critique of the controversial current education secretary Betsy DeVos.
“Our secretary of education will be an educator who actually knows what it's like to be in the public schools.”
When she said "educator," it drew a large response from the crowd.
A string of Super Tuesday victories vaulted Biden to the front of the Democratic pack along with Senator Bernie Sanders.
Jill Biden also addressed teacher concerns from the need for mental health resources and student debt relief.
“Joe’s vision is bold and progressive and, most importantly, achievable," Jill Biden said. "Because anyone can have a plan. Like I tell my students all the time, it's not enough to want to do well. You have to turn in the essay. You have to do the reading. You have to deliver on the promises you make.”
Iveth Ramirez is a teacher at Bremen High School in Cook County who was at the event. She says she actually supports Senator Bernie Sanders. For her, it's because of Medicare For All.
“How can you learn if you're sick," Ramirez asked. "How can you learn if you're constantly struggling to find ends meet and are not able to provide for your family?”
Senator Sanders is scheduled to make a campaign stop in Rockford early next week. Illinois holds its primary on March 17.