Saturday, January 21, 2017

Betsy DeVos Won’t Shed Stake in Biofeedback Company, Filings Show - The New York Times

Betsy DeVos Won’t Shed Stake in Biofeedback Company, Filings Show - The New York Times:

Betsy DeVos Won’t Shed Stake in Biofeedback Company, Filings Show



Betsy DeVos, the billionaire school choice advocate selected by President Donald J. Trump to serve as education secretary, is a strong supporter of using biofeedback technology to help children and teenagers enhance their performance in school.
Ms. DeVos and her husband, Richard DeVos Jr., are major financial backers of Neurocore, a Michigan company that operates drug-free “brain performance centers” that claim to have worked with 10,000 children and adults to overcome problems with attention deficit disorder, autism, sleeplessness and stress.
In an agreement with the Office of Government Ethics made public Friday, Ms. DeVos said that she had stepped down from the Neurocore board but that she would retain her financial interest in the company. She valued that stake at $5 million to $25 million in her financial disclosure statement.
On Friday evening, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the Republican chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said he would delay the initial vote on Ms. DeVos’s nomination by a week, until Jan. 31, as Democrats argued that the process had been rushed through, without enough time to answer remaining questions about her financial disclosures.
Ms. DeVos and her husband promote Neurocore heavily on the website for Windquest Group, a family office the couple use to manage some of their many investments. The website, for instance, includes a link to a Washington Post article about Kirk Cousins, a Washington Redskins quarterback who describes how he “retrained” his brain to better perform on the field by going to a Neurocore center.
But the claims that Neurocore’s methods can help children improve their performance in school could present a conflict for Ms. DeVos if she is confirmed as education secretary — especially given that the company is moving to expand its national reach.
Neurocore, founded about a decade ago, operates seven of the brain performance centers in Michigan and recently opened two in Florida. It has said it has plans to open as many as seven other centers across the country this year. Ms. DeVos’s financial disclosure shows that she and her husband have an indirect interest in the company through a family partnership.
Richard W. Painter, a White House ethics adviser under President George W. Bush, said he was familiar with Neurocore and applauded the business Betsy DeVos Won’t Shed Stake in Biofeedback Company, Filings Show - The New York Times:


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