Centering Education Policy, DeVos’ Fraud, Could Unite Voters in 2020

Tim Libretti, PhD
5 min readOct 26, 2019

While pollsters continue to assess the American electorate’s appetite for impeaching and removing President Donald Trump from office for his criminal behavior, finding still a population virtually split down the middle, voters seem to have far less tolerance for the fraudulent enterprises of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Evidence suggests, in fact, that making the impact of her policies and behaviors, as well as the Trump administration’s educational policies overall, more central in any 2020 Democratic campaign could prove successful in defeating Trump’s re-election bid.

If the damaging and even murderous intrigue of Trump’s foreign dealings with Russia, the Ukraine, and Turkey, or his severe abuse of Latin American children at the southern border, don’t seem to outrage voters, it seems Americans do care about how their own children are treated in public schools and also how their own pursuit of educational opportunities are hindered or supported.

As I’ve written about earlier for PoliticusUsa, DeVos has repeatedly undermined access to education for America’s students and, in her routine yet stalwart support of for-profit education, has participated in fleecing Americans of millions of dollars and leaving them, as they earnestly sought degrees to improve their lives and pursue their dreams, without diplomas.

At the end of last August, DeVos, reversing policies put in place during the Obama administration to enable students to seek forgiveness for loans they received when for-profit colleges defrauded them, made it more difficult for students to qualify for such loan forgiveness.

She complained students were just raising their hands to get “free money.”

Eileen Connor, legal director of Harvard Law School’s Project on Predatory Student Lending, found these rollbacks so unconscionably egregious that the project has vowed to challenge them in court. She said, “If Betsy DeVos won’t do her job and stand up for students, then we will fill that void. That is why we will be filing a suit challenge these harmful new regulations that give a green light to for-profit colleges to continue scamming students.”

Last week DeVos had her day — or rather her follow-up day — in federal district court on another but related matter dating back to a June 2018 ruling from Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim that ordered DeVos and the Department of…



Tim Libretti, PhD

Professor of Literature, Political Economy enthusiast, Dad, always thinking about the optimal world