Betsy DeVos Takes CARES Act Money Away From Undocumented Students To Fund Her For-Profit School Agenda

Betsy DeVos Takes CARES Act Money Away From Undocumented Students To Fund Her For-Profit School Agenda

June 23, 2020 0 By Stephen Callahan

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is still calling all the shots at the Education Department. The Michigan billionaire defied the odds and kept her job in the Trump Administration even though Congress didn’t want to approve her nomination in 2017. Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie vote, and Betsy jumped into the job with both of her public school-hating feet.

DeVos didn’t get the boot like several other original members of Trump’s cabinet, even though the controversy surrounding Betsy hasn’t stopped since she took office. Mr. Trump doesn’t get involved in education issues. Mr. Trump believes in a for-profit education system, and DeVos is the queen of the charter school initiative.

Mrs. DeVos is a die-hard Calvinist. She believes a national for-profit charter school system immersed in Christianity is the answer to America’s failing education system. And Mr. Trump thinks she right.

Betsy Prince DeVos grew up in Holland, Michigan. Her father, Edgar Prince, was the founder of Prince Automotive Parts. Betsy loved politics, so she decided to put that love to work in her home state. She married Dick DeVos, the son of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos in the late 1970s. Dick also has politics running through his wealthy veins. But Dick lost the Michigan governor’s race in 2006.

Betsy wasn’t qualified to take over the Education Department. She’s never worked as a teacher or administrator. But Betsy had money, and she used her money to help elect Donald Trump. Her sizable donation put her on Trump’s radar. Turning the public school system into a charter school system is her primary goal, and she wasted no time making that goal clear despite the blowback she got from teachers and school administrators across the country.

When John Stossel interviewed Betsy DeVos, he saw the determination in her eyes when she talked about her charter school dream. But when 60 Minutes interviewed DeVos, people realized Betsy didn’t have a clear understanding of the American school system. Her incompetence came through during that interview. Her critics claim she continues to make decisions and change policy based on that incompetence.

For the last three years, Betsy managed to upset school administrator’s teachers, students, and Congress thanks to her decision to channel education resources into her for-profit charter school initiative at the expense of the public school system.

Betsy’s latest attempt to throw the current public school system to the curb came when she decided to use CARES Act money the way she wanted to use it, not the way Congress told her to use it. Instead of giving low-income families the money they needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, DeVos issued an emergency rule that claims DACA students, foreign students, and all undocumented students can’t receive CARES funds.

In order to justify her attempt to take CARES funding away from the families who need it and give it to wealthy charter school families, Betsy used the Title IV of the Higher Education Act for an excuse. That act only gives federal financial aid to documented citizens.

DeVos claims the CARES Act makes reference to the Title IV act, so Betsy decided that was a big enough loophole to adopt Title IV’s eligibility standards. Congress didn’t limit CARES funds distribution to just documented citizens. There are more than 500,000 undocumented students enrolled in colleges and universities across the country.

DeVos chose to use Title IV eligibility requirements, and that deprived undocumented students from receiving the food and shelter they needed during the pandemic. But Betsy didn’t deprive her charter school students funding, and that decision is fuel for more lawsuits and more calls for Betsy to resign.