Rashida Tlaib calls on Betsy DeVos to resign
Earlier today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib sent out an email to her supporters, calling on Betsy DeVos to resign.
Below is a copy of the email:
I knew Betsy DeVos before she became the U.S. Secretary of Education. In Michigan, she used her billions of dollars to decimate our state’s public school system and increase racial segregation in places like my home city of Detroit.
Her wealth—certainly not her experience—bought her the leadership of the Department of Education, where she has failed our country’s students. That’s why I’m joining with other groups and leaders to call on her to resign.
The Secretary of Education’s job is to create equitable, accessible, and high-achieving schools. But Betsy DeVos has shown time and time again that her loyalty is to partisan politics and special interest groups—NOT students.
Betsy DeVos has failed to live up to her basic job responsibilities. Instead, she has:
- Cut funding for childhood literacy programs
- Rolled back vital protections for children of color and LGBTQ+ students
- Proposed cutting funding for the Special Olympics
- Cut program funding for deaf students
- Allowed schools to use federal money to buy guns
- Gutted essential Title IX protections for student survivors of sexual assault and harassment—not only in college, but K-12
- Enabled billions of dollars of charter school fraud
- Tried multiple times to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
It’s hard to describe the extent of devastation that she has wrought throughout the country.
In my home state alone, DeVos and her family have continually fought against increased oversight and higher standards for schools.
That’s why 80% of Michigan’s charter schools are run by for-profit companies—far more than other states. And as compared to other states, our state government has fewer tools available to us to shut down or improve failing charter schools.
Many private charter schools, which have taken money from and nearly replaced public schools, continue and even expand despite low academic performance and broken promises to parents and children. Now, we’re one of only a few states where early reading scores have been declining, not improving.
This is what happens with free-market education: Heads of schools are in it to profit, not to help students.
Betsy DeVos cares about supporting the for-profit education industry, not children. That’s why as the head of the Department of Education, she has pushed for increased funding for charter schools, even failing and defunct schools that are scamming the government.
That’s among the reasons why my colleague Rep. Mark Pocan recently called for her resignation in an op-ed, where he describes her “assault on public education” and “complete disdain for American students.” As Rep. Pocan notes:
Our public education system plays a critical role in expanding opportunities for the next generation of Americans and ensuring that our students — especially for those in marginalized and underserved communities — have the resources they need to succeed. However, more than two years into the Trump administration, the damage that is being done by the Department of Education will cause lasting, lifelong effects for millions of students and their families.
Our children deserve better.