To the Republican Senators who intend to vote for Betsy Devos’s confirmation as Secretary of Education because she bought the office in the 2016 election:
“I have decided to stop taking offense at the suggestion that we are buying influence,” she wrote. “Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect something in return. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment.”
This statement is literally the only qualification Betsy DeVos has in public education. She pays people to do her bidding and bullies them when they don’t. She comes from a family legacy of using their billions to force people to do things their way or else. Eliminating public education is part of the DeVos agenda to turn the United States away from the secular Democratic Republic envisioned by the founding fathers and into a theocratic state where only fundamentalist Christians rule. Some of you know this is true and support her efforts. Some of you don’t really care and pocketed the campaign contribution anyway. You really do need to stop and consider what’s happened to education in Michigan over the past twenty five years and ask is this really what you want to see nationwide.
It was ironic listening to Betsy during her confirmation hearing as she talked about giving back local control of schools, because she certainly doesn’t practice what she preaches. Everything that has happened politically in Michigan since the 1990’s is a result of the DeVos family fortune paying for political control of the state. Betsy DeVos and her billionaire family funded organizations such as Dr. Paul DeWeese’s Teach Michigan.
It was DeVos money that paid in part for Richard Mclellan’s Mackinac Center, the state’s political machine that champions anti-labor and anti-public education’s causes. DeVos money funded the recent Detroit ‘bailout’ passed by the Michigan legislation designed to in fact dismantle the state’s largest school district.
The results of DeVos buying politicians in Michigan to push her for-profit education model is a disaster of low-performing charter schools springing up all over the state by people with little to no education experience and even worse, using charter schools as a way to generate money for personal profit. The biggest charter school fraud case you’ve never heard of is the story of convicted felon Dr. Steven Ingersoll; a vision therapy optometrist who peddles snake oil treatments promising to cure ADHD and Autism. He’s now serving three years for federal felony fraud. The charter school he embezzled $5 million from refuse to lift a finger to recover the taxpayers’ money, and recently it was discovered the school board tried to secure a loan for Ingersoll after his indictment to open yet another school.
DeVos money funded all of this, and more in the state of Michigan and the country. States where Betsy can pay politicians to vote for vouchers now have school vouchers. If she can convince schools to pay for snake oil biofeedback treatments for kids with ADHD and Autism, she will do that too.
The DeVos’s are on record stating they want to eliminate public education and replace it with a Christian-based system. This is against the first amendment, but they don’t care as long as they can buy votes and politicians. It’s not about free access to public education; it’s about separating the “pig bones” of public schools from the narrowly defined theocratic society people like the DeVos’s want to create. Betsy DeVos is very open about children only having the option to attend Christian schools or receive Christian education at home. Her vision for schools is based on business and profits, not what children actually need.
This is the list of senators Betsy DeVos has bought and will likely vote to confirm her on February 7, 2016. If Republicans today had ethics and integrity, American public education would not hang in the balance. Perhaps between now and tomorrow, one or two of you will see Betsy DeVos for the wrecking ball she is and vote to not put her in a federal position she has no business occupying.