DETROIT – U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday told Education Department employees to resist changes by the upcoming administration that they believe could hurt students, according to a news report.
The website Politico reported that it obtained a recording of DeVos’ remarks at a virtual meeting with Education Department employees, in which she noted that many of them will remain through the transition as President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
“Let me leave you with this plea: Resist,” DeVos said, according to the report. “Be the resistance against forces that will derail you from doing what’s right for students. In everything you do, please put students first – always.”
DeVos is a billionaire from Michigan who has a long history as a Republican fundraiser and supporter. She made her name in education circles by backing school choice measures across the U.S.
It is not known whether DeVos plans to remain secretary until Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20.
Biden has pledged to undo many of the changes DeVos has made as President Donald Trump’s secretary of education – including putting back in place policies under President Barack Obama that limit federal funding to for-profit institutions based on students’ debt and salary levels. He has also said he will work to get rid of changes that provided more protections to students accused of sexual assault on college campuses and limited institutions’ authority to investigate sexual misconduct.
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It could take the Biden administration years to undo those reforms – because of the processes by which federal polices may be changed in a way that will withstand legal scrutiny.
The Politico report said DeVos told employees that she came into office in 2017 wanting to “do what’s right for students” and that “four years later it’s still my focus and it’s still my hope for all of you.” She touted her overhaul of rules governing how sexual assaults are handled by education institutions under Title IX.
Follow Todd Spangler on Twitter @tsspangler.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Betsy DeVos tells Education Department workers to resist Biden changes