Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called on Congress to reject efforts to cancel student loan debt and make college free in a farewell letter, weeks before President-elect Joe Biden is expected to assume the presidency, the Associated Press reported.
DeVos’s letter addresses her approaching departure from the Education Department, and made a final appeal for school choice legislation, a hallmark issue of her tenure, and emphasizes her commitment to advocating for children and students, the AP reported.
In a farewell letter to Congress, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urged lawmakers to reject policies supported by President-elect Joe Biden, and to protect Trump administration policies that Biden has promised to eliminate. https://t.co/ChGWogSjUW
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 4, 2021
DeVos has supported federal tax credits to fund scholarships that would allow families to pay private school tuition and tuition for other programs, which advocates say would provide families with more choices instead of restricting them to public schools.
Too many students still lack access to much-needed in-person learning. @realDonaldTrump‘s Executive Order on #SchoolChoice demonstrates our continued commitment to empowering students with the resources they need to find the right fit for their education. https://t.co/o5ayXOrKML pic.twitter.com/beDcF7PNyb
— Secretary Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) December 28, 2020
She also pointed to the “immeasurable harm” students across the country are suffering due to school closings, and criticized how schools have responded to the pandemic, according to the AP.
“Many students — particularly our most vulnerable students — are suffering immeasurable harm as a result of schools failing to reopen and failing to educate,” she wrote, according to the AP.
“Quite frankly, the ‘system’ has never figured out how to remediate students at scale, and I’m concerned it is incapable of achieving any kind of academic recovery now.”
DeVos has blamed teachers unions for stalling school reopenings, and has pushed alongside President Donald Trump for reopening schools.
She urged Congress to reject attempts to make college free and cancel student loans, which Biden has supported. However, throughout the letter, DeVos reportedly doesn’t mention Biden by name and does not explicitly acknowledge Trump’s election defeat, according to the AP.
“I hope you also reject misguided calls to make college ‘free’ and require the two-thirds of Americans who didn’t take on student debt or who responsibly paid off their student loans to pay for the loans of those who have not done the same,” DeVos wrote. (RELATED: Schumer Says Biden Is ‘Considering’ Eliminating $50,000 In Student Debt For People Making Less than $125,000 A Year)
Biden has vowed to scrap Title IX regulations implemented during DeVos’ time as education secretary, which gave more rights to those accused of sexual assault. To reverse the regulation, Biden will need to go through a formal rule-making process to overhaul them unless there is congressional action. DeVos called on Congress to preserve the rules in the letter.