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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 WarrenDemocrats reintroduce bill to block US from using nuclear weapons first CEO who gave employees K minimum wage says revenue tripled 6 years later Forgiving K in school loans would free 36 million student borrowers from debt: data MORE (D-Mass.) questioned Monday whether President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he 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 ClintonChelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' Why does Bernie Sanders want to quash Elon Musk's dreams? Republican legislators target private sector election grants 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.