When Betsy Prince DeVos was chosen by President Trump to take over the US Department of Education, many false stories were put out by the media in an attempt to sabotage her and lead people to believe she planned to institute educational policies that would favor wealthy families and destroy public schools. Nothing could’ve been further from the truth with the background that she has in making education more affordable and working to provide more options and opportunities to hard-working families. While Betsy DeVos has supported private and charter schools, she’s also helped bring many new learning programs to public schools and colleges across Michigan and the US.
Betsy DeVos got started with her ideas for education while she was a student at Calvin College. Her expertise is in business and she learned how a big company was run from her father, one of Michigan’s most successful innovators Edgar Prince. She married Dick DeVos Jr., the son of Amway Founder and Orlando Magic owner Richard DeVos Sr., and she worked alongside him while he was CEO of Amway and also served as co-Chair of the company she co-founded with him, The Windquest Group up until her nomination to be Education Secretary.
DeVos told Philanthropy Roundtable that it was being a parent that got her started in her education reform activities in Michigan. She saw many struggling families trying to send their children to private schools, and since Betsy also wanted these students to have a chance to get a better quality of education and attend college, she and Dick started the Education Freedom Fund and also joined the American Education Reform Council. It became apparent to Dick and Betsy that they needed to try and change what the state of Michigan allowed for private school tax credits in order to make attending them cheaper for students. As part of the 2000 election, she was able to fund an initiative for the election ballot that would give the voters an opportunity to have tax credits included in the constitution. It was voted against, but Betsy then continued to work elsewhere helping Indiana and Louisiana voters to pass their own reform initiatives.
Betsy DeVos later became head of the Great Lakes Education Committee, an organization that helped open more charter schools across Michigan. She and Dick also were the leaders behind an aviation school that opened up 7 years ago known as the West Michigan Aviation Academy. In addition to serving on education scholarship committees, Betsy DeVos was also the chair of the Michigan Republican party where she organized fundraisers for both state candidates as well as presidential candidates including former President George W. Bush and 201 candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. She distanced herself initially from President Trump, but then supported him after he adapted his platform and was all too happy to accept the US Education Secretary position.
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