Higher Ed, Not Debt Partners Respond to Betsy DeVos Resignation

On January 7, 2021, Betsy DeVos resigned from being Secretary of Education. In her resignation letter, she cited President Trump’s rhetoric and the “impact” it had on the armed coup attempt by terrorists who overtook the Capitol building on January 6. Her resignation comes 13 days before the end of this administration. DeVos’ 4 years as Education Secretary were marked by her deliberately discriminatory policy, attempts to prevent student loan borrowers from getting relief, and worsening the existing inequities in the higher education system by siding with predatory for-profit colleges, lenders, and banks. 

See what our partners and allies have to say about this news. The full statements by organizations are accessible via hyperlinks.

Americans for Financial Reform Senior Policy Analyst Alexis Goldstein

“Betsy DeVos spent her tenure at the Department of Education fighting against the legal rights of defrauded student loan borrowers at every turn. She rolled back protections, defied court orders, and even complained, when the law required her to execute debt cancellations previously approved by the Obama administration, that she did so with “with extreme displeasure.” And in her final days as Secretary, she condemned debt cancellation, even as the pandemic and economic crisis continues to rage, and student loan borrowers need every break they can get.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:  

“Good riddance.”

Harvard’s Project on Predatory Lending Director Toby Merrill:

“If Betsy DeVos accomplished one thing as Education Secretary, it is that she succeeded in drawing attention to the problems of predatory for-profit colleges and student debt in a way that was previously unimaginable – by making those problems so much worse. Her lawless actions over the last four years have accelerated the urgency to find solutions and create justice for defrauded students.

Although these problems are long-standing and have spanned multiple administrations, today is a new day and provides a fresh chance to harness the consensus that we must stop funding predatory for-profit colleges and cancel the debts that resulted from them, and transform that consensus into meaningful relief for student borrowers and an end to predatory for-profit colleges.”

National Education Association President Becky Pringle:  

“Resigning 13 days before the end of this administration does nothing to erase the harm Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has done to this country’s students, their families, and educators. She has failed our students yet again when they needed her most. Her complicity, cowardice, and complete incompetence will be her legacy.

The 3 million members of the National Education Association are looking ahead to working with the Biden-Harris administration and Education Secretary-designate Miguel Cardona to make sure that we undo the damage done by the Trump administration. We will build a new public education system to ensure it is one where all students — no matter who they are or where they live — have access and opportunity to a racially just and high-quality education.”

Student Debt Crisis Program Director Cody Hounanian:  

‘We will not forget the harm caused by the Betsy DeVos era at the Department of Education. DeVos was an obstacle to student loan reform, she helped student loan companies increase profits off the backs of everyday Americans, she obstructed civil rights investigations, and she attempted to dismantle existing student loan forgiveness programs.”

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