Center for American Progress Action

Resist Betsy DeVos’ Nomination For Education Secretary

Resist Betsy DeVos’ Nomination For Education Secretary

CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

For the most up-to-date version of our Transition Tracker go here.

During his campaign Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” and rid Washington of of political insiders who’ve rigged the system. Yet one by one, as president-elect Trump nominates the leaders of his new administration, the swamp seems to be overflowing. So we created the Swamp-O-Meter for each nominee that takes into account the number of years as a politician or working in Washington, net worth, connections to big money, personal conflicts of interest, and any history of racist and homophobic behavior.

Betsy DeVos, nominee for Secretary of Education, is a 4 out of 5 on the Swamp-O-Meter. She’s been a leading voice in Michigan politics for decades, is a multi-billionaire, has familial ties with multiple international companies, and her family foundations have advanced gay conversion therapy and discrimination against transgender students. She would also become the first Secretary of Education that has not attended, taught, or sent her kids to public school. Swamp on swamp on swamp!

DeVos in 53 words.

Betsy DeVos is a life-long advocate of channeling taxpayer dollars from public schools into vouchers that allow students to attend private and parochial schools. She has supported publicly funded but privately run for-profit charter schools, and has worked to undermine teachers unions. Her main moto for school systems is defund, devalue, and privatize.

DeVos in 140 characters.

DeVos would channel taxpayer dollars from public schools into vouchers & would use public dollars to run for-profit charter schools [TWEET THIS]

DeVos has funded initiatives in Michigan to expand flawed for-profit charter schools and private school vouchers.

Betsy Devos has long championed private school vouchers, which siphon tax payer dollars away from public schools and usually only cover a fraction of normal private school tuition.

If that weren’t bad enough, recent research shows that vouchers do little to improve achievement and students receiving these vouchers perform worse on assessments than their peers in public schools. Private school vouchers were also a big part of Trump’s education plan he rolled out in September.

Michigan now sends $1 billion in public education funding to charter schools. 70 percent of those schools are run by for-profit organizations and most perform below the state average. Over the last 20 years, Michigan’s rank has fallen on national reading and math tests.

DeVos advanced ed policies like private school vouchers, which fail kids https://www.brookings.edu/research/on-negative-effects-of-vouchers/ [TWEET THIS]

  • In 2015, a federal review found that “an unreasonably high” percentage of Michigan charter schools were some of the lowest-performing schools in the state.
  • In 2016, the DeVos-backed group worked to defeat legislation that would have established standards for identifying and closing failing schools, both charter and public, in Detroit.

Resist Betsy DeVos in 10 tweets

  1. The DeVos family is a longtime donor to conservative causes including anti-LGBT organizations promoting conversion therapy [TWEET THIS]
  2. The DeVos foundations have given $800K to Focus on the Family, longtime opponents of LGBT equality & marriage equality [TWEET THIS]
  3. The DeVos foundations sponsored annual conference advocating ex-gay reparative therapy. The same kind of therapy @MikePenceVP advocated for [TWEET THIS]
  4. DeVos’ Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation writes that schools should not prevent discrimination against trans students [TWEET THIS]
  5. Betsy DeVos & husband supported effort to amend MI constitution to ban same-sex marriage in 2004 [TWEET THIS]
  6. DeVos could become the very the first Secretary of Education that has not attended, taught, or sent their kids to a public school. [TWEET THIS]
  7. DeVos once thought of her work in education as one way to “advance the kingdom of God.” [TWEET THIS]
  8. Trump’s plans for education are clearer now with Devos pick for Ed. Secretary: defund, devalue, and privatize. [TWEET THIS]
  9. DeVos owes thousands in property taxes on her vacation home, taxes which are a huge source of $ for public schools. [TWEET THIS]
  10. Betsy Devos’ husband wants an end for all personal property taxes — the biggest source of school funding. [TWEET THIS]