How Will Betsy DeVos Change the Department of Education?

When Betsy DeVos was brought on board of the Trump Administration in order to take the post of Secretary of Education, many people in the political world were bemused, to say the least. DeVos didn’t come to Washington as part of a famous name or brand and she didn’t have a track record of political activism at the federal level. The decision, made by President Trump, was clear: he valued an outsiders perspective over a traditional politically fueled representative. When Donald Trump campaigned for President in 2016, he did so by claiming that he was going to drain the swamp and bring in outsiders to help run the country, citing that things had to change in Washington before it could change elsewhere. How will Betsy DeVos live up to her heightened expectations?


In order to properly assess the job that Betsy DeVos will do for President Trump, you have to take a moment to look back at her roots. DeVos was born and raised in Michigan and it was there that she focused much of her early political life. DeVos was raised on the core tenents of family values, her faith, and her pride in private education. Like many conservatives, DeVos wants to see respect for her personal life and that of other citizens by having less intervention from the government and this has largely fueled her political rise.


Betsy DeVos would leave Holland, MI where she was born and raised in order to attend Calvin College. At Calvin College, DeVos would work hard to study and hone her political edge by learning from the writings of Milton Friedman. Friedman was one of the initial advocates of school choice and it was from his work that DeVos would take the core ideas that she would use to fuel her rise in the conservative party. After graduating college, DeVos knew that she couldn’t sit idly by and stay on the sidelines while the educational field fell apart in front of her. So, DeVos decided to take what she had learned and put it to real use.


DeVos would come out of college ready to work and she quickly established herself as a school choice champion. DeVos has done this by creating several philanthropic foundations in order to raise funds and raise support for more school choice institutions in the country. Since beginning her work to spread school choice awareness, there have been 17 states to adopt the model featuring 33 schools that are teaching more than 250,000 students. With this kind of success at the private level, it only makes sense that DeVos will have success when operating at the federal level.


Despite Betsy DeVos being a popular member of the conservative party, she has repeatedly made a point to clarify that she will stand up for what she believes in regardless of which side of the party line it falls. This was made clear when she stood up to President Trump’s decision to rescind a federal policy that protected transgendered students at school. DeVos went against President Trump’s decision but she still respected the platform which is indicative of a strong conservative who still respects her own personal values.


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How Dick and Betsy Devos Have Helped Kids Get a Better Education

Betsy Devos is known as one of the most prolific philanthropists. She gives tons of money to support various causes. Her husband and she have set up a foundation that they use to donate large sums of money to charity. In one year alone, they gave over eleven million dollars to charity. The main focus of their charitable work pertains to education. Almost thirty percent of their donations go to support education directly or to support groups that advocate for education reform.


Education is extremely important to Betsy, who had parents that were educators and who worked as an educator herself. She strongly believes in the idea that children should be given an opportunity to attend the schools that they feel comfortable in and where their parents believe that they will succeed. It is a well known fact that not every school will fit every child, and that not every child will fit into every school. The obvious solution for children who do not excel in the public school system is to attend a private school. A private school may have students that are better friends, teachers who are better educators, or there just may be a better environment for that particular child to thrive. Betsy Devos therefore believes that such schools should be given vouchers and support from the government so that they can accept kids who do not have the money to pay the high tuition for these schools.


For example, Betsy worked with and supported Alliance for School Choice, and she donated one hundred thousand dollars to them. She was also the chairwoman of American Federation for Children, another organization aimed at providing children with opportunities that work for them. She also was on the board of an organization founded by Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, called Foundation for Excellence in Education. Betsy Devos donated fifty thousand dollars to that organization. Dick and Betsy set up the Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation in 1989, which they use to funnel their charitable contributions. Dick Devos also comes from a family that gives a lot of money to charity. After all, his family was put on the Forbes Top Givers list, simply because they collectively gave around one and a third billion dollars to charity, giving one hundred and four million in one year alone.


Dick and Betsy worked hard on promoting her causes. She has been active in politics for thirty five years. She has served with the Republican Party in Michigan, and her husband has too. Because of her strong support for education reform, and because of her active work to support education, she was chosen by Donald Trump to be the eleventh United States Secretary of Education.


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