LeBron James opened a school. Now thousands want him as Trump’s Education Secretary

LeBron James opened a school. Now thousands want him as Trump’s Education Secretary
Thousands of people have signed an online petition asking President Donald Trump to replace Education Secretary Betsy DeVos with NBA star LeBron James. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos takes a lot of criticism, but her job is presumably safe for the foreseeable future. That didn’t stop thousands of people from endorsing NBA superstar LeBron James for the position, however.

Nearly 20,000 people have endorsed a petition that calls for DeVos to be fired and for James to join the Trump administration as the new Education Secretary.

“LeBron James is an inspiration to kids all over the country,” the petition reads. “He’s shown he cares about America’s youth and understands the power of public education in helping children meet their true potential.”

Why LeBron James?

James recently opened a school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, called the I Promise School. It’s a public school that seeks to help struggling students by providing some special accommodations.

The school day is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the school year runs from July through May, with a seven-week summer session. Students receive free breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks, and a free bicycle. The school also helps parents with GED classes and job placement assistance.

Students who graduate from I Promise and go on to graduate from high school will get full tuition paid at the University of Akron.  The school will serve third- and fourth-graders in year one, with plans to expand to first through eighth grade by 2022.

“It’s not a charter school, it’s not a private school, it’s a real-life school in my hometown,” James said. “And this is pretty cool.”

Why do they dislike DeVos?

One of the primary criticisms of DeVos is her perceived lack of knowledge about and care for the well-being of public education; DeVos is an advocate for school choice.

“Betsy DeVos was hired without ever setting foot in a public school — and she’s taken every opportunity to work against the interests of the children, teachers and families she has pledged to serve,” the petition reads. “We certainly deserve better!”

Is LeBron interested?

There’s no indication that James has any government or political aspirations for his post-basketball life, and the petitioner acknowledges how far-fetched the idea is.

“I know that it’s unlikely that LeBron James would give up his highly successful career — especially since he has been generous enough to use that influence to be an inspirational community and youth advocate for millions,” the petition’s author wrote. “Even more unlikely is that LeBron would ever stand to work for Donald Trump and his hateful rhetoric…but it’s worth a try!”

Trump recently criticized James after James was interviewed by CNN’s Don Lemon. James is a vocal critic of Trump, and was active in supporting Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

(H/T USA Today)