Betsy and Dick DeVos have been two of the most important and outspoken members of the Michigan Republican Party for the better part of the past thirty or so years. Betsy DeVos has, of course, outstripped her husband in terms of national acclaim due to her recent confirmation to the position of Secretary of Education for the United States government. Selected by Donald Trump as part of his initiative to ‘drain the swamp’, Betsy DeVos is now in a powerful position where she can help to make some of her lifelong goals a reality. Let’s take a look at how the DeVos family has been active in the reformation of the education system over the years.
In order to properly appreciate Betsy DeVos’ political stances, we have to look at what she has done throughout her career outside of the national spotlight. To start out with, we can see that Betsy DeVos grew up into a moderately wealthy family due to her attachments to Erik Prince of Blackwater. Betsy’s husband, Dick, is from the family dynasty behind Amway. Despite the wealth of their families, Betsy and Dick have been as active in philanthropy as anyone could ever expect. Through financial disclosure statements, it was revealed that the entire DeVos family has given nearly $1.33 billion to philanthropy throughout their lives. The DeVos family is reportedly worth nearly $5 billion, so this means that they’ve donated nearly a quarter of their massive wealth.
Much of the wealth that the DeVos’ family has donated has been in an effort to make school choice reform possible. School choice is all about giving power over education back to the public and by separating the government from any involvement. Betsy herself has been appointed to the head of a pair of charities over the years that focused on raising money to help fund these institutes. Thanks to her work, there are now 33 publicly-funded institutions spread across 17 different states. Within these 33 institutions, nearly 250,000 students are reaping the benefits of the school choice platform. Learn more: http://www.betsydevos.com/policy-involvement/
At the national level, Betsy DeVos is finally getting the chance to share her work with the world at large. If Betsy DeVos can come into Washington D.C. and impart her own effective leadership, school choice could have a second wind like never before. DeVos has been championing school choice for the past thirty years and this position, Secretary of Education, is the greatest thing to happen in her efforts for her lifelong passion.
Still, Washington D.C. is notoriously tough on outsiders and Betsy DeVos learned that firsthand through her first weeks on the job. After a rough confirmation hearing, critics in the media and around the country were quick to dismiss DeVos as something of a paper tiger. This label, fortunately, didn’t stick and it only took a few meetings for DeVos to change the minds of lifelong politicians. Betsy DeVos is rapidly becoming the ‘bulldog’ of the education system and we can expect that to have an effect on her leadership in the coming years.