American Oversight is investigating the influence that Secretary DeVos has allowed for-profit schools and other outside entities to have on the Education Department and its policies.
During her first year in office, Betsy DeVos proved that she was unqualified for the job as secretary and out of touch with everyday Americans — just as many thought when DeVos was first nominated. American Oversight obtained copies of her calendars, which revealed that she spent her first six months in office focusing on charter schools, religious schools, and other non-public educational institutions — and took frequent long weekends.
We’re investigating the influence that for-profit colleges and religious institutions, like Liberty University, have on Education’s policy priorities. In light of Education’s decision to roll back the Gainful Employment Rule, the Borrower Defense Rule, and Obama-era guidance on school discipline practices, American Oversight is seeking records to determine the extent to which outside special interests influenced these changes.
On June 26, 2017, American Oversight sued the Department of Education for records of DeVos’ calendars as well as the calendar entries of other senior political appointees in the agency.
On Aug. 1, 2018, American Oversight sued the Department of Education on behalf of the National Student Legal Defense Network for specific records produced by the Department of Education sent to Navient, a giant federal student loan servicer.
On Nov. 9, 2018, American Oversight sued the Department of Education for records, including memos and communications, concerning the agency’s decision to cut back on debt relief for defrauded student borrowers.
On May 22, 2019, American Oversight sued the Department of Education on behalf of the National Student Legal Defense Network for records relating to the agency’s oversight of institutions owned by the Dream Center Foundation and Dream Center Educational Holdings, LLC.
On Aug. 28, 2019, American Oversight sued the Department of Education for communications sent using DeVos’ personal email account that concerned official agency business.
On Oct. 10, 2019, American Oversight sued the Department of Education for communications former General Counsel Steven J. Menashi had with White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller, specific right-wing groups, and other key White House officials regarding the issue of immigration and undocumented students. The suit also sought Menashi’s ethics pledge and conflicts of interest.