Betsy DeVos Shovels Coronavirus Money to a College People Have Confused With a Cult

Illustration for article titled Betsy DeVos Shovels Coronavirus Money to a College People Have Confused With a Cult
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Remember when Congress passed that $2 trillion covid-19 stabilization law? You know, the one that gave billions to big corporations and left small businesses in the lurch? (At least it put $1,200 in our bank accounts.) Right, that one. Well, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is here to make sure a chunk of that money goes to the right place: Jesus schools and private institutions.


The New York Times reports that DeVos is “directing millions of federal dollars intended primarily for public schools and colleges to private and religious schools.” The coronavirus aid package allocates $30 billion total for educational institutions; $13.5 billion for elementary and secondary schools, $14 billion for higher education, and the rest to the states. Devos has used $180 million alone to encourage states to offer microgrants: money that can be used to pay private school. “[DeVos] has directed school districts to share millions of dollars designated for low-income students with wealthy private schools,” the Times reports.

But that’s not all:

And [DeVos] has nearly depleted the 2.5 percent of higher education funding, about $350 million, set aside for struggling colleges to bolster small colleges — many of them private, religious or on the margins of higher education — regardless of need. The Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential, a private college in Wisconsin that has a website debunking claims that it is a cult, received about $495,000.

Bergin University of Canine Studies in California said its $472,850 allocation was a “godsend.”

“I think we are one of the most important educational institutions out there right now,” said its founder, Bonnie Bergin, who is credited with inventing the service dog.

Democrats are, understandably, unamused. As are teachers across the country, who are relying on aid to be used responsibly and help fund local public schools:

In Montana, school officials estimate that compliance would shift more than $1.5 million to private and home schools, up from about $206,469 that the schools are due under current law. In Louisiana, private schools would receive at least 267 percent more funding, and at least 77 percent of the relief allocation for Orleans Parish would be redirected, according to a letter state that education chiefs sent to Ms. DeVos. The Newark Public Schools in New Jersey would lose $800,000 in federal relief funds to private schools, David G. Sciarra, the executive director of the Education Law Center, said in a letter to the governor of New Jersey asking him to reject the guidance.

The Department of Education released a statement, saying, “The current disruption to our education system has reaffirmed what Secretary DeVos has been saying for years: We need to rethink education for all students, of every age, no matter the type of school setting.”

In other words, it’s time for DeVos to take advantage of a nationwise crisis to fund her own pet project: Crushing public education, propping up Christian institutions, and scaring the undocumented with a dollop of “fuck title IX and transgender kids” for good measure.


Former Vice President Joe Biden knows that the sexual assault allegation against him isn’t a great look, especially as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. So he has a suggestion for those who believe the damning accusation put forth by former Senate staffer Tara Reade: Don’t fuckin’ vote for him!


He said as much during an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Thursday night. O’Donnell asked Biden what he would say to women who were ready to vote for him, but believe Tara Reade. Biden continued to insist that the Reade allegation is false—adding that her story is inconsistent, out of character, and has been thoroughly vetted. But he has some advice to offer his skeptics.

“I think they should vote their heart,” Biden said. “And if they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me. I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade.”


Well... there you have it! Biden should probably stop telling potential voters to not vote for him but, hey, I’m not his campaign manager.


  • Bernie Sanders stans are big mad. [Politico]
  • The House is going to vote on another stimulus bill. [NBC News]
  • Mitch McConnell admitted that he was wrong to say that the Obama administration didn’t leave behind a pandemic plan. When will he apologize for everything else that he lied about. [CBS News]
  • They did a thing:

Staff writer, mint chocolate hater.



I think they should vote their heart,” Biden said. “And if they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me. I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade.” 

I don’t see the lie, though. That’s shockingly straight-forward for a politician. What is he supposed to say, “Even if you believe that I raped this woman, you should vote for me?”