Betsy DeVos and Educational Reform

Betsy DeVos has been in the public eye for decades, and with her appointment as Secretary of Education for the Trump Administration, she continues to draw attention. Prior to her arrival on the national stage, Betsy DeVos was a very public figure in Michigan, where she grew up. Daughter of the wealthy and influential Prince family, she was educated at Calvin College and became involved with numerous conservative campaigns, political action committees and party organizations. She married the even wealthier Dick DeVos, son of the founder of Amway, and together they have made even bigger names for themselves in the political arena.

 

Though this may be the very public face of Betsy DeVos, close to her heart are her charitable organizations where she pushes for reforms through nonprofits. She is chairman of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, a member of multiple national and local boards such as the DeVos Institute for Arts Management, the Foundation for Excellence in Education and Kids Hope USA. She is a leader in the educational-choice movement, which endorses the public funding of charter schools and vouchers for private and religious private institutions.

 

In an interview with Philanthropy magazine, Ms. DeVos discussed her work in education reform further. Her passionate interest in education reform did not start suddenly. Rather, it grew out of visits to the Potter’s House Christian School in Grand Rapids, which was serving many low-income families. She was struck by the parents of children who did not have much choice when it came to schools, and who wanted to make sure that their children were receiving the best education in the safest place possible. They started supporting families at the school for whom tuition was a significant financial burden, and the movement to grew from there.

 

During the 1990s, Ms. DeVos served on the boards of several charities that worked to expand educational choice with the use of vouchers and tax credits. At the time, this was considered a radical movement, but both Dick and Betsy DeVos became politically involved and passed Michigan’s first charter school bill in 1993. As chair of the Michigan Republican Party, she pushed for a constitutional amendment for educational reform in Michigan to help expand charter schools throughout the state. The success of this movement spurred her supporters to try and push it nationwide.

 

Many people remain critical of her educational reform model, arguing that finite public tax dollars flowing too heavily toward charter schools and vouchers will stave public education centers. DeVos feels strongly that many of the nation’s public schools are downright failing, and that freedom of choice is the only option for reform.

 

To learn more, visit http://www.betsydevos.com/.

Dick DeVos focuses on education reform and aviation

Dick DeVos has shaped the skyline of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and guided national efforts to reform educational choice. As the heir of an Amway Corp. co-founder, DeVos had the fortune and business connections to enable him to challenge a plan for a sports and convention center outside of downtown Grand Rapids in 1991.

 

He worried that the location would sap life from the core of the city as had happened in Detroit when the Palace of Auburn Hills and Pontiac Silverdome pulled sports teams out of the city. During his time as CEO of Amway between 1993 and 2002, he gathered business leaders to campaign against the proposed sports arena.

 

The group known as Grand Action focused on downtown and promoted the building of the DeVos Place Convention Center, the Michigan State University’s medical school, Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids City Market, and the DeVos Performance Hall. These achievements added to the vitality of the city’s center and slowed urban sprawl.

 

DeVos and his wife Betsy also contributed $12.5 million to create a children’s hospital within Spectrum Health System. He serves as the chair of Spectrum’s board. Hospital construction started in 2006 and cost $103 million, but DeVos said that the facility allows local families to stay close to home when their children need advanced medical care.

 

On the state political scene, DeVos has exerted substantial influence. Although his gubernatorial campaign failed in 2000, DeVos successfully ushered a law into place in 2012 that prevented unions from requiring people to join their organizations as a condition of employment. Learn more: http://www.celebfamily.com/business/richard-devos-family.html

 

He and Betsy have also spent considerable resources within Michigan and nationwide to reform education. They funded their Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation with $138.7 million between 1989 and 2015. The donations directed by this foundation primarily promoted charter schools.

 

His founding of the West Michigan Aviation Academy represents one of his success stories in the realm of education. The charter school located at Gerald R. Ford International Airport opened in 2010. DeVos also played a pivotal role in convincing Southwest Airlines to expand services at that airport.

 

DeVos has a lifelong enthusiasm for aviation. He possesses a license to pilot jets, helicopters, and single-engine planes. In September 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation appointed him to the Management Advisory Council, a 13-member panel that advises the Federal Aviation Administration about long-term planning, policy, regulations, and spending.

Betsy DeVos Uses Her Fortune to Make Things Better for Others

Since Betsy DeVos has a lot of money, she knows that she needs to give back if she wants to be able to have a successful life with other people. She has tried her best to make things better for others and all of this is a result of the things that she has done to improve different situations. It is also what has given her the chance to try different things no matter what happens in different areas or what she can do to make things better for people. Since Betsy DeVos is dedicated to education, she knows that all other people will have a chance to try new things and that they will be able to enjoy the things that will make their own education better in different areas of the United States. For Betsy DeVos, this is something that will change the world and make it a better place.

 

Education is important because it is the ticket to a more successful life. Betsy DeVos knows this and she also knows that she will have to do different things to bring improvements to the educational opportunities that people have while they are trying different things. It is a huge part of the way the educational system in the United States works and it is something that Betsy DeVos tries to make better so that she can help more students out when they are dealing with the educational system. She has done her best to ensure that people can enjoy the experience and that students can take a lot away from it.

 

Starting with voucher programs and extending all the way to charter schools, Betsy DeVos knows that education is not something that can be put into a box. She sees very little value in the public education system and wants people to know that they should be considering all of their options when they are trying to find a school that works best for the people who are doing the education system and for the students who need to be able to learn about the things that will help them later in life.

 

While previous secretaries of education have focused most of their efforts on helping students go to college, Betsy DeVos recognizes that they have to be able to get into college if they are going to focus on that aspect. Now, she wants to focus on the years leading up to it and how that can make things easier for people. She also wants to help the students learn in the best way possible so that they can be prepared for college without having to worry about all of the problems that can come from a public education.

 

To learn more about Betsy DeVos, visit http://www.betsydevos.com/.