Betsy DeVos Tells Staff To 'Resist' Public Schools Or Some Damn Thing
Four years of never reading the room.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urged folks at the Education Department to "be the resistance" to the incoming Biden administration Tuesday, because apparently she thinks the department's career staff share her deep commitment to gutting public education in favor of private schools. Politico reports it obtained a recording of DeVos's remarks during a "department-wide virtual meeting" called to discuss the transition, telling workers,
Let me leave you with this plea: Resist. [...] Be the resistance against forces that will derail you from doing what's right for students. In everything you do, please put students first — always.
Apparently the Amway billionaire and advocate for privatizing education hopes members of the department will fight tooth and nail to continue her "support" of students through making sure they pay every penny of exorbitant loans, and don't fall victim to the evil lure of government funding for the first two years of public universities and community colleges. Good lord, that might mean young people won't be saddled with student debt forever, and might even start families and small businesses and stuff. And what kind of America would THAT be?
Politico adds that in DeVos's valedictory remarks to the department she'd soon be leaving, she explained
that her goal "in everything we accomplished was to do what's right for students," adding that "four years later it's still my focus and it's still my hope for all of you." She touted her overhaul of Title IX rules governing sexual assault and misconduct in schools and colleges as one of her major accomplishments.
Well of course she did. Those are the rules aimed at making it harder for victims of sexual assault to have their cases heard. The ACLU argued earlier this year that DeVos's new regulations
[allow] colleges to ignore reports of assault or harassment unless they are made to the "right" official. Not even the biggest sexual abuse scandal in sports history — USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's abuse of hundreds of gymnasts , including Michigan State students — would meet this standard, because many of the students reported the abuse to their athletic coaches, not the university's designated Title IX coordinator.
So presumably, if the Biden administration wants to return to the Obama-era standards DeVos trashed, she wants the folks she leaves behind in the Education Department to resist that, and do "what's right" for the accused rapists, the poor dears.
Or maybe DeVos is worried about Biden's call for Congress to forgive the first $10,000 of all federal student loan debt, because surely that would harm former students by getting them addicted to government handouts without even being oil companies. Or even scarier than that, she might be urging resistance to Elizabeth Warren's call for Biden to forgive student debt through executive action, which would be just terrible because some people paid their loans and it's just not fair to help other people. (Under this principle, we must not distribute the coronavirus vaccine, because lots of people have already had to get sick and die without it, and isn't it unfair to make life easier for the freeloaders who want to go out in public without risking death?)
For that matter, DeVos might also be telling her loyalists in the department to "resist" any attempts to crack down again on another of her favorite constituencies, the for-profit-college industry. She LOVES those guys, and would certainly hate to see students robbed of the "choice" to be robbed by fraudsters who are experts at milking federal grants, the GI Bill, and student loans for profits while delivering not much of an education at all, because after all, this is America.
But hold on here, what loyalists in the Education Department, anyway? Won't all the crazy privatize-everything political appointees clear out once Biden is inaugurated?
Many will, but thanks to Donald Trump's rewrite of the rules for civil service jobs, it will now be easier for his departing administration to fire career civil servants and replace them with political appointees. It's a disgusting hocus-pocus that seems aimed at building Trump's very own "deep state" of political hacks throughout executive branch agencies. So there actually may be some DeVos loyalists left behind in the Education Department to run interference against Biden's nefarious plans to undo four years of DeVos fuckery.
Isn't the grand experiment of democracy a beautiful thing?
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