President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. The billionaire from Michigan will appear before Congress next week to answer questions about her qualifications and fitness to serve. If Ohio Congresswomen Marcy Kaptur and Joyce Beatty have anything to say about it, DeVos will be asked why she has not paid Ohio the $5.3 million she owes after violating campaign finance laws in this state. According to Kaptur, All Children Matter, a pro-charter school group headed by DeVos, illegally funneled nearly $1 million to Republican candidates and did not pay the fines assessed to the group in 2008.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has sent DeVos a letter urging her to pay what she owes, and U.S. Representative Joyce Beatty asked in a tweet, “How can the public trust Ms. DeVos to ensure that borrowers repay their student loans when the group she chaired has failed to pay fines that were imposed nearly a decade ago?”
DeVos is an education lobbyist with ties to student loan companies. According to a New York Times editorial, “Beyond erasing concerns about her many possible financial conflicts, Ms. DeVos also faces a big challenge in explaining the damage she’s done to public education in her home state, Michigan. She has poured money into charter schools advocacy, winning legislative changes that have reduced oversight and accountability. About 80 percent of the charter schools in Michigan are operated by for-profit companies, far higher than anywhere else. She has also argued for shutting down Detroit public schools, with the system turned over to charters or taxpayer money given out as vouchers for private schools. In that city, charter schools often perform no better than traditional schools, and sometimes worse.”
You can let our Ohio Senators know you oppose this appointment and the privatization of public schools and that you stand for charter schools being held to the same standards as our public schools.
Call Sen. Portman – 202-224-3353
Call Sen. Sherrod Brown – 202- 224-2315
And let them know you want them to hold Betsy DeVos accountable.