Required For Ed Secretary: Integrity

In addition to showing incredible lack of knowledge about the basics of K-12 education at her confirmation hearing, Betsy DeVos lied about her involvement in the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation that gives million of dollars to anti-gay organizations and to causes of the extreme religious right.

At that confirmation hearing, Betsy DeVos stated that it was “a clerical error” that she was listed as a Vice President of the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation. Carol Burris of the Network for Public Education reports that her statement about a clerical error is not plausible. The 990PF forms of the Foundation from 1998 until the latest filing, which is 2014, list Elizabeth (Betsy) DeVos as Vice President.

According to Michigan law, any foundation, including private foundations, must undergo an independent financial audit during a year that the foundation receives in excess of $500,000 in contributions. In 2012, the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation received nearly $19 million in contributions and was audited.

Information about board officers must be provided for an audit. There is a review of all board members’ names and contact information. If Betsy DeVos’s name had been “inadvertently listed” by error for fourteen years, it would have been discovered in that independent audit. The audited tax returns are posted on the Network for Public Education website.

Betsy DeVos didn’t tell the truth to the Senate committee. The Secretary of Education should have unquestioned integrity.

If Senators vote to confirm Betsy DeVos, it will tell a sad story to America’s children. Unfortunately, it will be only one of several sad stories since the election of Donald Trump.

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