Education News

5 reasons Betsy DeVos should be fired

From the day she was announced as the nominee, educators have stood firmly against Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education due to her extreme lack of qualifications and horrible record in undermining public schools. In her three years as U.S. Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos has focused on cutting education spending, championing school privatization, and weakening oversight into everything from civil rights protections for students to fraudulent student loans. Time and again, bi-partisan majorities in Congress, as well as parents and voters across the country, have rejected her schemes.

By threatening the entire U.S. education system with annual budget cuts, pushing voucher programs, and refusing to protect our most vulnerable students, Betsy DeVos harms entire communities. Educators say that when public schools are not seen as vital by leaders, it’s up to educators to speak up for what is important. Each moment shows how she’s been a disastrous choice, just as public school supporters knew she would be.

Here are five specific reasons she should be fired:

1. She supports $9 billion in cuts to public education

DeVos supported President Donald Trump’s FY 2020 budget proposal to slash funding for the Department of Education by 13.5 percent. The proposal asked for a collective $9 billion in cuts to education, including after-school programs, career and technical education, and programs to hire and train teachers. The budget bolsters the Trump-DeVos privatization agenda while rolling back education spending to pre-2002 levels (by today’s dollars).

During testimony in the House in 2019, she continued to argue for funding cuts, larger class sizes and stood behind her proposal to cut grants for special education by 26 percent, and millions of dollars from programs for students who are blind.

Following his State of the Union Address, President Trump again announced billions of dollars in proposed cuts to education in the 2021 budget while trying to fund vouchers. NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said the proposals are “extreme” and that the Trump/DeVos administration “is doubling down on their extreme agenda as they again call on Congress to pass the same voucher schemes that Republicans and Democrats in Congress have rejected, knowing that these programs have been proven to fail students.”

2. She’s unqualified

Neither Betsy DeVos nor her children ever attended, nor taught at a public school. She has zero experience working in public schools. When she spoke on 60 Minutes, she said that she had “never intentionally visited a school that is underperforming,” even to determine issues that could be resolved.

Elementary teacher and NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said DeVos is “the first secretary of education with zero experience with public schools.”

While her complete lack of public education experience alone is troubling, worse yet is her decades of work to undermine public education.

3. She failed to protect student borrowers

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

On multiple occasions, Betsy DeVos has failed to protect our students, specifically young students taking out student loans to pay for college. Not only that, but she has violated laws meant to protect them, continuously hurting students, families, and communities.

In 2017,  DeVos violated federal law by revoking the Borrower Defense Rule, meant to hold predatory for-profit schools financially responsible and accountable for fraud and forbid them from forcing students to resolve complaints outside court.

In June 2018, DeVos and the Department of Education were told to stop collecting the loans from students defrauded by for-profit college conglomerate, Corinthian Colleges, Inc. DeVos was later held in contempt of court for violating the order. The judge, who also fines the Department of Education $100,000, wrote in her order, “there is no question” that DeVos and the department violated the preliminary injunction, and, “also no question that defendants’ violations harmed individual borrowers.”

And in 2019, her department prevented state law enforcement officials and federal regulators from pursuing legal action against companies accused of cheating and misleading student borrowers – a “brazen act of lawlessness” says one former enforcement lawyer at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

4. She supports Vouchers

Stefani Reynolds / CNP | usage worldwide Photo by: Stefani Reynolds/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

DeVos has promoted the privatization of public schools through voucher programs that take scarce funding out of public schools where 90 percent of students attend and gives it to private schools. Long before she is Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos used her family’s wealth to privatize public schools, fund politicians who support voucher schemes and promote privatization. As Secretary, she advocated for a $250 million increase in education spending for vouchers, while cutting the rest of the budget, including cutting funding for the Special Olympics. Later in 2019, DeVos also lobbied for a voucher bill, a brazen scheme that would invest $50 billion in private school vouchers over 10 years.

“Taxpayers and voters have made it overwhelmingly clear that they do not want vouchers, rejecting them time and time again,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Betsy DeVos and her allies are using the Supreme Court to push their political agenda that seeks to dismantle our neighborhood public schools.”

5. She created “Ghost Schools” in Michigan

According to the Washington Post, thousands of charter schools across the country never opened or were quickly shut down. The state with the most charter schools that never opened was Michigan, home to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

In her home state, DeVos is “one of the architects of Detroit’s charter school system,” one that downplays regulation and accountability while draining resources from public schools. Even some privatization advocates have described it as “one of the biggest school reform disasters in the country.” A total of 72 “ghost schools”, as they are called, never opened in the state she helped push the charter sector in, costing her own taxpayers millions of dollars. Regardless, DeVos continues to advocate for charter school funding.

Sign the Fire Betsy DeVos Pledge to do your part in 2020 and fight for students and public schools.

31 responses to “5 reasons Betsy DeVos should be fired

  1. So sad what this administration is doing in their special interests. We have lost all that is helpful to our country.. Checks and balances are being torn down in executive, judicial and congressional branches and being replaced by self serving interests by Trump, Pence, Mc Connell and Devos..All are unfit and are not qualified to serve the American People.

  2. There are no good positive words to say about these positions, making these horrible decisions. There are so many sad things. Teachers are no longer safe in their classrooms yada, yada, yada. Great teachers are leaving the field. Those of us who specialize are discouraging those getting out of college to look elsewhere with their talents.

  3. No experience with education. She is quick to say she doesn’t deal with under performing schools.She is not a friend of public education and is making the public school students pay the price. Funding charter schools is throwing money away to failing schools. Special education is taking a beating with Devos in office. It is time to have a qualified, concerned, and educated educator in this job, not someone who simply has money and friends in high places. That does not meet the needs of students. If she ends up in a nursing home, public educated former students will be caring for her. Good luck.

  4. Obviously there needs to be a balance to the budget. I do think there are some clear areas where there needs to be some tightening of the purse, but not when it comes to the education of the future of America. There are clear interests being held when a party of candidate gets into office. That is politics of course. It would be great if there was more moderation in DC both at the congressional level but also at the union level as well. I get it there is a base that is screaming out – wanting more funding and things fixed and right now it feels that whoever yells the most gets the attention. Such is life. Today what gets the press is the extreme view points. It is sickening.

    This said, I am wondering if Betsy has ever stepped into a inner city school that is struggling with funding to know what it truly is like in the classroom. Putting an article out here asking for her to be fired or why she should be fire is not a good answer. All it does is fire up animosity. Has this unions leadership had the opportunity to meet with her? I do not know “the facts” – all I have seen in extreme stories of NEA’s leadership writing a letter and then someone not returning a call. But honestly – if you want your voice heard – regardless of party – not sure why there is not routine meetings with Betsy. In person meetings are way better avenues then just putting something in a letter or article or going on C-SPAN.

    I do think someone else would be better qualified of course, but she is what you get. I think there needs to be more work done mending the relationship and equally both parties coming to the table if you expect to ever get anything done and for your membership to feel that you are getting something done.

    1. DeVos went to a public school early on and supposedly got threatening notes. Now she has a Secret Service body guards all the time. Perhaps her brother can use some of his private force to protect her.

      She is a Trump panzie.

  5. She was placed in this position by Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie in the senate to appoint her, and has followed through on her mandate which is to destroy public education, a pinnacle of a educated populace and a pillar of our democracy. Of course, her goal is to destroy public education. She is doing exactly what she was appointed by the president and senate to do.
    Time for a change methinks !!!!!

  6. If our public education is privatized, we will be back to 1970 for our special education students. Public education is for every child regardless of mental ability or physical ability. Do we as a nation want to bring back institutions? Do we want to hide our children who have disabilities? Free public education is a right for all in our free country. Thank you.

  7. Firing is too good for her.
    She should be duct taped to a cafeteria table while the special needs kids she so gleefully screws over pelt her with spit wads.
    Then she should be forced to eat nothing but the school lunches she enforces on poor kids for the rest of her life.

  8. As a person who personally benefits from student loan defaults, Betsy Devos should not be allowed to have any say in what recourse is available to students with predatory loans.

    1. only qualified educated degree teachers should be teaching our children.

  9. When have we become so content to sit back in our laurels with respect to everything that this a President has done and is going to our country? It is party over purpose and greed/profit over people. This woman is one small cog in the demise of society.

    1. Those five reasons to be rid of of DeVos are sufficient to get her out of office before she ruins our country’s public education. I was a teacher for 39 years and raised four children in public education.

  10. With so many qualified people out there, why does she continue to hold a position for she’s which completely unqualified?

    1. Because she will do what Trump and McConnell want done, and that is to make the Dept. of Education irrelevant, and then it can be abolished.

  11. Our kids are our future! How is it possible that she has taken away so much from public education? And that she is making decisions without ever working in a classroom!

    BTW I’m a retired teacher from public education .

  12. Devos only has one thing on her mind as far as education is concerned. Funding charter and parochial schools! Just Another reason to prove the lack of public interest on the part of your “president”. He loves and places the mega rich into positions for which they are UNQUALIFIED! Might as well keep the ball rolling that began with the placement of the big guy himself.

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