Betsy DeVos’s vision for education, one of civil society’s most fundamental public goods, would increase profits for private companies, reduce transparency and accountability, and create a grossly unbalanced and segregated school system. All at taxpayer expense.
DeVos’s agenda threatens the separation of church and state – she has singled out education reform as a way to “advance God’s kingdom” and said that school choice would lead to “greater kingdom gain.” Her calls to shut down failing school districts echo the racist rhetoric and policies of southern states that resisted integration.
DeVos’s group, the Great Lakes Education Project, lobbied for “school choice” programs in her home state of Michigan; these programs have been criticized for waste, fraud, abuse, and destroying learning outcomes. Despite two decades of charter school growth, Michigan’s overall academic progress failed to keep pace with other states, and the state’s charter schools scored worse that their traditional public school counterparts.
DeVos and her husband have personally directed an estimated $200 million towards privatizing American public education. The DeVos family and PACs they support have funneled millions of dollars in campaign donations to legislators, including eight members of the Senate Committee that will review her nomination.
DeVos’s nomination is the ultimate example of pay-to-play, and her dangerous vision for education should not be allowed to put 50 million children at risk.