Sure, American’s teachers often have to work two or even three jobs just to make ends meet while education budgets nationwide are under attack from Republican legislatures. But when it comes to security for Betsy DeVos, no expense is spared, even as she comes from one of the wealthiest families in the U.S., with an estimated net worth in the neighborhood of $5.4 billion.
The U.S. Marshals Service has been tasked with protecting Betsy DeVos, ever since a couple of protesters tried to block her from entering a school back in early 2017. More from NBC News about the unusual arrangement with the U.S. Marshals.
While it remains unclear who specifically made the request, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions granted the protection on February 13, 2017, a few days after DeVos was heckled and blocked by a handful of protesters from entering the Jefferson Academy, a public middle school in Washington. DeVos was confirmed as education secretary on February 7 of that year. […]
The cost of security provided to DeVos was $5.3 million in fiscal year 2017 and $6.8 million for fiscal year 2018, according to the Marshals Service — an amount that is ultimately reimbursed by the Education Department. The estimated cost for fiscal year 2019 is $7.74 million.
It’s infuriating that taxpayers are paying such a hefty fee based on a couple of hecklers in February 2017. So much for fiscal conservatism, amirite?
The U.S. Marshals and the Department of Justice refuse to elaborate on any other threats to DeVos, if any. And with all of that expensive security, you’d think she was criss-crossing the nation. Nope, she’s really hardly been out to our schools at all.
After receiving the Marshals’ protection, DeVos spent less than 4 percent of her time visiting traditional public schools in the school year that began in September 2017.[…]
Yes, people were angry (and still are) that DeVos apparently bought a cabinet position after dumping $200 million into Republican candidates, with the long-term goal of privatizing our public schools. Yes, people are angry that DeVos has, time and time again, paved the way for corporations to profit from our schools and our children. And yes, DeVos has rolled back protections for our most vulnerable—LGBTQ students and sexual assault survivors. But, does she really need a round-the-clock security team while mostly hanging out in Washington, D.C.? In the end, the idea that Republicans are fiscally conservative is as it has always been—a complete myth.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.