An education equity group financed by tens of millions of dollars received from Bill Gates maintains a pipeline to the Biden administration to promote its liberal policy agendas, according to documents.
The Education Trust works to “disrupt systems of inequity,” and emails reveal it enjoys close access to top Education Department officials. Communication shows further that the group works alongside progressive policy pushers, including George Soros-backed Governing for Impact, which boasted of implementing dozens of its regulatory agenda items during President Biden’s tenure in internal memos.
“It should concern all Americans when outside organizations create a roadmap to subvert the legislative process, encouraging significant policy changes to be enacted through executive fiat,” said Parents Defending Education president Nicole Neilly. “To do so deliberately undermines the checks and balances established by the founders — and it is one of the many reasons that the administrative state must be brought to heel.”
The Education Trust focuses on research and state, federal, and state advocacy in pre-K through 12 endeavors. An internal email illustrates its proximity to the Biden administration for national initiatives.
Education Trust’s director of government affairs, Reid Setzer, messaged four Education Department officials in February 2021: Jessica Cardichon, then-deputy assistant secretary for P-12 in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development; Suzanne Goldberg, deputy assistant secretary for strategic operations and outreach; Donna Harris-Aikens, senior adviser for policy and planning before becoming deputy chief of staff for strategy in the Office of the Secretary; and Ian Rosenblum, then-deputy assistant secretary for policy and programs in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“Hi, Jessica, Donna, Ian, and Suzanne. Hope you’re well! wrote Setzer. “We wanted to reach out to share a non-public strategic memo written by the National Women’s Law Center, Governing for Impact, and Ed Trust on how the Biden administration can best reinstate and strengthen guidance on school discipline and resource equity. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns and let us know how we can best work alongside you as you begin any internal processes in the space!”
Setzer attached a 22-page proposed action memorandum which spoke of how the “presence of police in schools clearly has a disparate impact based on race” and a recommendation to “incorporate into the guidance package how police presence in schools may constitute a Title VI violation.”
White House referenced that Education Trust is “advancing education equity”
The White House also has referenced The Education Trust in fact sheets, including how the administration is “advancing education equity.”
“Since our inception more than two decades ago, Ed Trust has pushed policymakers — no matter their political affiliation — to do what’s right for students. And we have and will continue to do so in a nonpartisan way,” said a spokesperson for Education Trust.
“We have proudly worked with every administration to advocate for policies and practices that advance the educational outcomes of our nation’s most underserved youth,” said the spokesperson. “Students from low-income backgrounds and students of color have had great Democrat and Republican champions — leaders who stood up for them and the quality of education they deserve when others wouldn’t. We will continue to work with whoever is in office until every student in this country gets the education in which they are entitled.”
The group receives broad support from Bill Gates. Since June 2020, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has directed over $25 million into its efforts, according to records.
In the past, Gates has been criticized for using his wealth to reshape the U.S. educational system, specifically with the Common Core education initiative.
The group has boasted in internal memos of implementing over 20 regulatory agenda items as they work with the Biden administration to reverse Trump-era deregulations by focusing on health care, labor, environmental issues, education, and housing.