Does not believe in or support public education
Believes that public school teachers are overpaid
Supports for-profit education
Donald Trump has said he wants to drastically shrink the Education Department and shift responsibilities for curriculum research, development and educational aid to state and local governments
Betsy DeVos is a 58-year-old billionaire philanthropist from Michigan and is best known for her anti-public education campaigns. She’s married to Dick DeVos, an heir to the Amway fortune, and is the sister to Erik Prince, founder of notorious government-contracted security company Blackwater, now known as Academi.
As we reported on January 17, 2017, Betsy DeVos has ties to a student debt collection agency, Performant Financial Corp., a debt collection agency in business with the Education Department.
Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos and her husband have extensive financial holdings through their private investment and management firm, RDV Corporation. The firm, where DeVos once served as director, has financed real estate acquisitions, telecom companies and online charter schools, among other things. But one particular deal is creating concern on Capitol Hill.
RDV is affiliated with LMF WF Portfolio, a limited liability corporation listed in regulatory filings as one of several firms involved in a $147 million loan to Performant Financial Corp., a debt collection agency in business with the Education Department.
Twenty-three percent of Performant’s revenue is directly tied to its dealings with the Education Department, which awarded the company 14 contracts worth more than $20 million in 2016, according to regulatory filings and government documents. The company lost out on a recent contract bid with the department and is now protesting the decision with the Government Accountability Office, which can dismiss the dispute if the department reverses course.
If confirmed as secretary, DeVos would be in a position to influence the award of debt collection, servicing and recovery contracts, in addition to the oversight and monitoring of the contracts. She would also have the authority to revise payments and fees to contractors for rehabilitating past-due debt – all of which should be of concern.
In a Nutshell
- No Education Degree
- No Teaching Experience
- No experience working in a school environment
- Past and present anti-public education campaigns
- Never attended public school or state university
- Never put her own children in public school
- Does not believe in or support public education
- Believes that public school teachers are overpaid
- Supports for-profit education
- Has ties to a student debt collection agency, a debt collection agency in business with the Education Department.
- Leads the American Federation for Children, which promotes charter school education
- Invested $200 million in Christian schools and organizations
- Advocates transferring money out of public education and into for-profit, Christian-based education
- Donated $9.5 million to Donald Trump’s campaign, so this position could be seen as political payback – “pay-to-play”?
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