The Truth About Betsy DeVos (w/videos)

Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos has spent the last 20 years doing everything she can to shut down our public education system. For Ms DeVos choice is key, but she ignores the fact that public schools are the “choice” of the 85% of US students. She advocates for vouchers for religious schools and private for-profit charter schools. In what world does this make her qualified to head the Department of Education?

In her home state, 80% of Michigan’s charter schools are run by private, for profit, management companies. These companies like to claim they are public schools when it’s time to get tax dollars, but they are a private business when it comes to disclosing where those public dollars are being spent. She has added for the free market approach to charters and opposed a bill last year that would have required more transparency.

In 2003, Betsy DeVos founded the pro-voucher group All Children Matter (ACM) which spent $7.6 million worth of dark money supporting candidates who want vouchers and opposing candidates who support public education.
That year ACM endorsed 181 races across the country-they won 121 of those races. (This is no outsider)

In 2008, with Betsy DeVos still at the helm, ACM was fined $5.2 million for campaign shenanigans. She has yet to pay the fine.

“my family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican party…and we expect something for our money.”

DeVos formed a new anti-public education foundation with a 501C3, the Alliance for School Choice and it’s sister organization American Federation for Children(AFC), a 501c4 which is allowed to endorse candidates. She is the president of AFC.

In 2010 AFC gave voucher advocate John Huppenthal $63,000 for his campaign. And remember the robocalls telling people they could send their child to private school for free? Those were underwritten by ASC with a $250,000 donation.

In Arizona’s 2016 primary, DeVos’s AFC spent $216,000 on Arizona candidates-supporting those who are pro-voucher and running ads against pro-public education candidates.

In a speech, Betsy DeVos proudly said, “my family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican party…and we expect something for our money.”

Public schools educate every child who walks through the door-it isn’t a business, or a pyramid scheme-or a profit making center, Public Education is the foundation and the strength of our democracy.

Betsy in Action

Senator Delauro's wrap up at the hearing

Senator Katherine Clark Asks DeVos if it's ok to discriminate with federal dollars (spoiler alert: YES)