Rescind Invitation to Betsy DeVos to Speak at MSU Grand Rapids Research Center on Sept 20
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Dr. Lou Anna Simon, President, Michigan State University
Dr. Norman Beauchamp, Dean, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
We, the faculty, students, staff and alumni of Michigan State University, and other interested citizens, sincerely request that you rescind the invitation to Betsy DeVos, Education Secretary in the Trump Administration, to speak at the grand opening of the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center (GRRC) on September 20, 2017.
Secretary DeVos’ past activities have included:
· Lobbying for the privatization of the US public education system under the guise of “school choice.”
· Support for political candidates in Michigan who worked to implement her privatization plans and in the process, have slashed millions from the public education budget.
As Education Secretary, Secretary DeVos:
· Recommends a $9 billion cut in federal education funding, including cuts to higher education, training and after-school programs.
· Supports cutting financial aid to low-income college students making it easier for private loan servicers to prey on Michigan families. The MSU College of Human Medicine already has some of the highest per student debt in the nation.
· Rolled back regulations on for-profit colleges and has made it easier for low performing for-profit colleges to defraud students.
· Refuses to limit federal education funding for schools who actively discriminate against LGBTQ students.
The undersigned believe that Secretary DeVos’ agenda is diametrically opposed to the education and inclusion mission of Michigan State University. While her father-in-law’s gift in support of the GRRC is welcomed and appreciated, giving Secretary DeVos an MSU-sponsored platform to speak sends a message to the public, alumni, faculty, staff, students and their families, that the compromising of MSU’s standards can be easily purchased.
Further, the undersigned are very concerned that planned protests of Mrs. DeVos’ visit will disrupt the GRRC Ribbon Cutting and distract media focus away from the celebration of MSU’s newest state-of-the-art research facility in Grand Rapids.
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