Betsy DeVos: A Life Spent Advocating For Choices In Education

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is not afraid to disagree with President Trump, although, she does not contradict him in public or to the media. DeVos reportedly resisted rescinding a federal policy which allowed transgender students to use the school bathroom of their choice, but she publicly supported President Trump.


She’s known as a tough cookie in her home state of Michigan where she advocated for school choice. While critics said charter schools took funding away from public schools, DeVos said low-income parents deserve choices. She talks about visiting the Potter’s House Christian School with her husband. They had the money to send their kids to private schools, but the parents of the students at the school had to sacrifice to send their students to a good school. DeVos and her husband Dick now support the school.


DeVos started a foundation which gave children scholarships, however, she realized that the scholarships only helped a few families. Scholarships didn’t address the real problem which is poorly performing public schools, especially in Detroit. DeVos also served on the boards or two organizations which supported school choice; the American Education Reform Council and Children First America. DeVos also started the Lansing-based Great Lakes Education Foundation with her husband which advocates for charter schools.


When Philanthropy Magazine interviewed DeVos, she spoke about her support for online learning and homeschooling as well. Online learning is new, says DeVos, but it has promise. She goes even further, supporting charter schools run by for-profit companies, saying the free market and parents will decide the school’s fate. DeVos mentions her husband’s charter school, an aviation high school. The school prepares students for high-paying careers in the aviation industry.


Dick and Betsy DeVos have given almost $139 million away to charity during their lives. DeVos favors educational causes, educational reform and supports political candidates who favor school choice. She feels children shouldn’t have to attend a poor simply because they live in a certain zip code. As Education Secretary, DeVos has pointed out that even the better schools in the U.S. don’t perform as well as schools in other countries.


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