Last night Carla and I attended a screening for an upcoming National Geographic documentary called Science Fair, about the International Science and Engineering Fair. It's a terrific movie about smart young scientists from around the world. One thing I learned watching it is that students in Germany pay almost nothing to attend college. Here in the US, students graduate with a debt load that will hurt the quality of their life for decades. What is the US Department of Education doing about it? Actively making it worse, thanks to Betsy DeVos, who oversees the department.
The Trump swamp is a veritable legion of cartoonishly evil supervillians, but the mustache-twirling cackler Betsy DeVos operates on a level that would make a 4chan troll blush. Married to the former CEO of Amway (which paid $56 million to settle a class action for "alleged fraud, racketeering, and operating as an illegal pyramid scheme," she is also sister of Erik Prince, founder of the murderous Blackwater mercenary firm.
This billionaire griefer — with fleets of private jets and yachts at her command — has no teaching experience and refuses to visit troubled schools. Instead, she spends her time coming up with outrageous ways to make students' lives financially miserable and fraught with danger. And like the best robot, she doesn't crack a smile when her victims suffer.
DeVos's latest lulz generator is a plan to get around a law that Congress passed in March that forbids federal funds from being used to buy guns for teachers. But DeVos is the kind who doesn't let the law get in her way, especially if it would spoil her plans to fill schools with deadly weapons. According to the New York Times, she's discovered a potential loophole:
[DeVos's department] is eyeing a program in federal education law, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, that makes no mention of prohibiting weapons purchases. That omission would allow the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, to use her discretion to approve any state or district plans to use grant funding for firearms and firearm training, unless Congress clarifies the law or bans such funding through legislative action.
Fortunately, not everyone in in Congress is scared to death of her.
94% of teachers spend out-of-pocket money for their classrooms.
The fact that we can find money for guns in schools, but not enough for new books and supplies, tells you that this is an investment in the school-to-prison pipeline.https://t.co/dSqcFE8Gdq
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) August 23, 2018
.@ChrisMurphyCT says on Senate floor that DeVos allowing schools to buy guns with federal money would be "in direct contravention of federal law" — says his amendment would "reiterate the policy of this Congress".
— Michael Stratford (@mstratford) August 23, 2018
The NRA spent $30,000,000 to elect Trump. Betsy DeVos is using the murder of my daughter to justify a return on that investment. November cannot come soon enough. #OrangeWaveInNovember
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) August 23, 2018
The State of New Jersey will not be part of this dangerous and misguided idea of arming our teachers. @realDonaldTrump should use our tax dollars to provide all children with the education they deserve, not turn our classrooms into warzones.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) August 23, 2018
Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr