Education Secretary Betsy DeVos officially submitted her resignation to President Donald Trump on Thursday following the violent riot on Capitol Hill that left five people dead. DeVos condemned the “unconscionable” actions of Trump supporters involved and said that the president’s rhetoric had sparked the situation.
As one of the first cabinet members to denounce the insurrection, DeVos also urged people to be better examples to the next generation about what it means to be an American.
— Secretary Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) January 6, 2021
DeVos is now part of a growing administration exodus that includes Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger, and First Lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham.
In her resignation letter, the former education secretary sang praises for Trump, who has helped push her agenda for the US Department of Education. However, DeVos cites her constitutional oath as the reason for the decision.
“We should be highlighting and celebrating your Administration’s many accomplishments on behalf of the American people. Instead, we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protestors overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people’s business,” the letter read.
Many of DeVos’ critics wasted no time in expressing their approval of her resignation. This response, coming from teachers’ unions among many groups, is a reaction to many polarizing, controversial education policies and decisions implemented during her term.
In her four years as education secretary, DeVos has been on the receiving end of 455 lawsuits, making her the most-sued education secretary in the history of the Department of Education. Among her contested decisions are the repeal of the Gainful Employment rule, the issuing of “blanket denials” on loan forgiveness applications, and diverting coronavirus aid funds from public to private schools.
But there are other critics who commended DeVos’ for her decision to resign. Thomas B. Fordham Institute President Michael J. Petrilli said, “This doesn’t make up for all of her bad decisions, and the harm she has done to education reform, but still, she deserves kudos for this one.”