Education Week: DeVos Invested More Money in 'Brain Performance' Company, Despite Weak Evidence


Since being confirmed as U.S. secretary of education in February, Betsy DeVos has significantly increased her family’s financial stake in a company that makes questionable claims about its treatment for conditions such as anxiety, autism, depression, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.


Raising her financial stake in Neurocore does not cross any clear ethical lines, and federal ethics officials signed off on the moves, said Larry Noble, the senior director and general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington nonprofit staffed by election-law experts who promote public participation in democratic processes.

But the transactions do raise some new ethical questions for DeVos and the public moving forward, Noble said.

“I would want to watch very carefully if there is anything the department of education is doing that one could argue is going to help that company,” he said. “Also, if she had any inside information about anything that could have influenced the value of that stock, and she increased her holdings because of that, it would be a problem.”

Ultimately, Noble said, the public must rely primarily on DeVos to recuse herself from any actions or deliberations that could be relevant to Neurocore.

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