January 27, 2017

Statement from Senator Warren on Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released the following statement today regarding the nomination of Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education:

"I will vote against Betsy DeVos's nomination to serve as Secretary of Education because her nomination is not in the best interests of the young people of America.  She has repeatedly demonstrated her contempt for public education, she plans to maintain financial ties that could create conflicts of interest, and she is unwilling to commit to be a cop on the beat with for-profit colleges that break the law and cheat students.

"Mrs. DeVos has no record in higher education, but I gave her the opportunity to prove to the American people that she is serious about standing up for students. During her confirmation hearing, I asked Mrs. DeVos basic, straightforward questions about her commitment to protecting students and taxpayers from fraud committed by shady for-profit colleges. But she was unwilling to commit to using the Department's many tools and resources to keep students from getting cheated.

"Mrs. DeVos's record on K-12 education has been focused on using her vast fortune to push her own ideology on hardworking families that are just trying to get their kids a decent education in public schools. Not only are her ideas completely uninformed by experience with public schools, but the evidence is clear that her privatization theories are bad for students.

"I've heard from thousands of teachers, parents, and education leaders in Massachusetts raising deep concerns about Mrs. DeVos. I hear their concerns, and I share their concerns. This includes a letter sent to me from the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association about Mrs. DeVos's devastating record of promoting for-profit and online charter schools with virtually no accountability or oversight for how well these schools actually serve students and families. Unlike the successful, thoughtful, and innovative education policies we have implemented in Massachusetts with regard to public charter schools, the policies Mrs. DeVos has bankrolled have drained valuable taxpayer dollars out of the public education system in Michigan and left kids worse off.

"It is hard to imagine a less qualified or more dangerous person to be entrusted both with our country's education policy and with a trillion-dollar student loan program.  Congress should reject Mrs. DeVos's nomination."