After spending much of her nearly four-year tenure in government attacking public schools and pushing privatization schemes, outgoing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is now reportedly encouraging career staffers at her department to obstruct President-elect Joe Biden’s policy agenda.
During a department-wide virtual meeting Tuesday, according to Politico, DeVos pointed out that many Education Department employees “will be here through the coming transition and beyond.”
“Let me leave you with this plea: Resist,” DeVos said, co-opting language used in opposition to President Donald Trump. “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.”
DeVos’ remarks came just two weeks after the billionaire education secretary lashed out at proposals to forgive student loan debt and eliminate tuition for public colleges and universities, dismissing such popular proposals as “government gift-giving.”
Last December, as Common Dreams reported, DeVos proposed putting the federal government’s massive student loan portfolio under the control of a “stand-alone government corporation,” a move critics denounced as an attempt to prevent future administrations from canceling student loan debt.
Biden, who has not yet announced his nominee to succeed DeVos, has vowed to forgive some of the student loan debt held by tens of millions of Americans and make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families with incomes below $125,000 a year.
January 20 can’t come soon enough when this disgrace is pushed out the door and her bags are dropped at the curb.https://t.co/vVblrwDxWl
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) December 16, 2020
In response to DeVos’ comments Tuesday, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, tweeted that “because of DeVos’ ‘resistance,’ thousands of public schools have no resources to reopen safely” amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Because of her ‘resistance,'” Weingarten added, “thousands of student loan borrowers have fewer avenues for justice and repayment.”