Open Letter to the Secretary of Education

Open Letter to the Secretary of Education

By Ida Acevedo | UC Riverside

They say that hard work pays off, and for you, Betsy DeVos, that is quite the opposite. You’ve been sworn in as the Secretary of Education, recommended by Trump himself. How? Well, let’s look at how you got here today.
You didn’t have a lot of troubles growing up. I mean, your father is a billionaire industrialist, and you’re married to the CEO of Amway, Richard DeVos, a multimillionaire averaging as the 60th richest person in the United States at 5.1 billion dollars. But you say money has nothing to do with your position? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with living comfortably, except, where does education fit in here?
You went to a Holland Christian school and a Calvin College, both private institutions, and you were able to send all four of your kids to the same private school and pay for their college tuition out of pocket. But did you know that only 9% of American students make up the private school system? It’s difficult to show your support and be a representative for the other 91% of students in public schools when you have no experience with them. It’s also hard to believe that you support public schools when you’ve supported charter schools and privatization. I’m sure you know that they actually defund local public schools because their money goes towards charters.

Keep in mind that you and your kids never had to apply for and take out a loan. For many students like myself, we can’t relate. You have now been given charge of a 1 trillion-dollar loan program, as well as the distribution of 30 billion dollars in Pell Grants to students, which you have proposed to cut in half. Low-income students like myself are going to lose out on those 15 billion dollars because you deem them unnecessary. For students like myself who had to take out student loans, don’t you think you should cut us some slack? You’ve lived a life of privilege. The average college graduate finds a job 3-9 months after graduation. Currently, students are given 6 months after they graduate to find a job before interest builds on their loans. Knowing how well you love money, here’s to hoping you won’t keep it to yourself.

It’s been a tough road for you to be sworn in as Secretary of Education. You had a 50-51 vote in your confirmation, which on the grading scale is an F. 50% of Congress didn’t want you as a Secretary of Education because of your lack of experience, and the other 50% voted for you because you’ve contributed over 200 million dollars to the Republican party and senators. But I’m sure you’ll have no problem working with your new boss. You both have a lot in common. You’re both white, wealthy, and have no idea what the fuck you’re doing.

Just remember: there’s 56 million students, and their families are counting on you to not screw up their futures. However, with the education proposals you present to Senate, you show that you obviously don’t give a shit for students like me to finish our education, much less pay for it. How can you live your life and continue working in a highly-respected position knowing you will be the sole reason millions of Americans will no longer be able to afford attending college?

Becoming the Secretary of Education, the children of American expect you to be the voice and mind of our need for education. Yet, each day you prove only to do the opposite. I leave you with this word of advice: don’t fuck it up for us more than you already have.

Ida Acevedo Ida is a first year Political Science/Public Service Major at UC Riverside. When she’s not hitting the books, she spends most of her time lifeguarding, working summer leadership camps, or going on adventures with her 4 roommates. Her goal is to work in local government helping low income and minority communities in addition to meeting her idol, former VP Joe Biden.



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