Betsy DeVos resigns as Education Secretary
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tendered her resignation to President Trump on Thursday, making her the latest in a line of senior officials to exit following the riot at the Capitol on Wednesday.
In her resignation letter, DeVos cited the Capitol breach carried out by violent pro-Trump supporters as an “inflection point.”
DeVos is the second White House Cabinet member to resign due to the Capitol breach. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao tendered her resignation on Thursday, directly citing the events that occurred at the Capitol.
“We should be highlighting and celebrating your Administration’s many accomplishments on behalf of the American people,” DeVos wrote to Trump. “Instead, we are left to clean up the mess cause by violent protestors overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people’s business. That behavior was unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”
“Impressionable children are watching all of this and they are learning from us,” she continued. “I believe we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgement and model the behavior we hope they would emulate. They must know from us that America is greater than what transpired yesterday.
“To that end, today I resign from my position effective Friday, January 8, in support of the oath I took to our Constitution, our people, and our freedoms. Holding this position has been the honor of a lifetime, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve America and her students,” DeVos concluded.
During her time as education secretary, DeVos has faced a great deal of controversy, much of it stemming from her lack of experience in education. Before Trump tapped her for the position, she had been a major donor to Republican campaigns.
DeVos on Monday sent a letter to Congress as one of her last acts as secretary making a case to expand federal tax dollars going to private schools, a cause DeVos supported long before she became education secretary.
During a virtual meeting in December, DeVos reportedly told Department of Education staffers to “resist” the incoming Biden administration.
“Let me leave you with this plea: Resist,” DeVos said. “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.”
Updated: 9:32 p.m.
Brett Samuels contributed.