Warren rips Trump's Education secretary pick ahead of confirmation hearing

Warren rips Trump's Education secretary pick ahead of confirmation hearing
© Haiyun Jiang

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Memo: Trump ratchets up Twitter turmoil Hillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for 'glorifying violence' | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues Warren condemns 'horrific' Trump tweet on Minneapolis protests, other senators chime in MORE (D-Mass.) questioned Monday whether President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points MORE’s pick for Education secretary has the qualifications for the job.

“There is no precedent for an Education Department secretary nominee with your lack of experience in public education,” she wrote in a 16-page letter to Betsy DeVos, who will face the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for a confirmation hearing this week. 

“While past nominees for secretary of Education have served as teachers, school system leaders, and governors, and came to the Department of Education with deep executive experience in public education, you have held no such position,” added Warren, a member of that panel who endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump campaign launches Asian Pacific Americans coalition Van Jones: A 'white, liberal Hillary Clinton supporter' can pose a greater threat to black Americans than the KKK Taylor Swift slams Trump tweet: 'You have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence?' MORE over Trump, the Republican nominee.

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"As such, your nomination provides the Senate and the public with few clues about your actual policy positions on a host of critical issues.”

Warren, who is a vocal advocate for campaign finance reform, also criticized DeVos’s past political spending on education issues.

“You and the organizations you led have also spent millions to promote policies that send more public funds to for-profit and virtual charter schools with no accountability for how well these schools serve students or how these taxpayer dollars are spent,” she said.

Warren further derided DeVos’s “paper-thin record on higher education and student debt.” 

“The next secretary of Education must have the experience and expertise to effectively manage the student loan program with the best interests of students in mind,” she said.

“This means advocating for policies that protect students from Wall Street’s and the federal government’s attempts to make more money off them, and policies that push down college costs for students, and cut the cost of borrowing from the federal government for new and existing borrowers.”

DeVos, who is a dedicated supporter of charter schools and taxpayer-funded school vouchers, will sit for a confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

The longtime GOP donor from Michigan is worth about $130 million, while her father-in-law, Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, has an estimated worth of roughly $5 billion.