Press Release

Betsy DeVos Is Exploiting Crisis, Failing to Do Her Job: Weingarten

For Release: 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Andrew Crook
o: 202-393-8637 | c: 607-280-6603
Education secretary’s decision to ban undocumented students from relief funds, failure to halt employers’ garnishing of students’ wages, and ties to Michigan anti-stay-at-home militia must be condemned
WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement responding to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ odious conduct during the coronavirus crisis. Instead of helping students and children struggling with the fallout of the pandemic, DeVos seems determined to make their lives harder.
“Betsy DeVos has acted in a cruel and destabilizing manner throughout this crisis, taking a trifecta of offensive decisions this week that should not go unnoticed. Last month, her department promised to take steps to help student loan borrowers, including stopping employers from garnishing their pay. A month later, they’re still waiting for relief. And while DeVos sees no urgency in helping borrowers or severing her links to far-right militias attacking Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, she’s wasting little time hurting undocumented college students by denying them federal support.
“Students and schools will bear the brunt of DeVos’ cynicism as they fall further into debt and despair. It is shocking, but not surprising, that DeVos would use this pandemic to double down on her political extremism, rather than protecting the people she is sworn to serve.”​

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.