It’s been roughly 25 years since the country’s very first private-school voucher program was instated in Wisconsin. Today, there are 17 states (plus the District of Columbia) that use about 33 publicly-funded programs. This private-choice movement was first introduced nearly 5 decades ago, but people like Betsy DeVos keep it going today. The growth of the movement continues to grow, and she has no plans on slowing down anytime soon.
Betsy DeVos was born into an affluent, Michigan-based family, in 1958. The Prince family was known for their very large parts supplier business, the Prince Corporation. She was raised in Holland, Michigan, where she attended private school. When she began college, her passion for politics and education started to flourish.
Betsy married her husband, Dick DeVos shortly after graduation, joining together two of the most influential, Michigan families. Her husband Dick was heir to the Amway corporation, though they began many business adventures together. As two Republicans, Betsy and Dick quickly became involved with politics, education, and philanthropy.
Mrs. DeVos started her participation in the Michigan Republican Party in the 1980s, where she served as a local precinct delegate, chairwoman, and even chairwoman of the Republican National Committeewoman. Her family became serious donors to the party, hosting parties for presidents and working with committees on various projects. After the 2016 Presidential Election, Betsy DeVos was nominated by Donald Trump to become the country’s next Secretary of Education.
Aside from her party involvement, Betsy has been a champion for a wide variety of causes. Her family is known across the nation for their charitable donations, ranking highly on the list of America’s top givers. They started the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, which has given large amounts of charity to the arts, health sciences, schools, and other great organizations. The DeVos’ have also been heavily involved with education charity and reform.
Betsy DeVos has been an advocate for school-choice for decades. She believes that Americans deserve the right to have choices when it comes to the education of their children. By opening up more charter schools and private schools, with publicly-funded voucher programs, DeVos believes that each child can receive a personalized-education.
After viewing the education system first-hand, Betsy saw that many children didn’t have access to a good education because of their family’s income. It was then that Dick and Betsy began supporting individual students; providing them with scholarships and aid. Within a short amount of time, Betsy got involved with many education boards; trying to change the policies to allow for tax-credit scholarships or vouchers on the state-level.
It is now estimated that more that 250,000 children in the country are involved in charter schools or state-funded, school-voucher programs. And while Betsy is fighting to change the landscape of Michigan, her biggest tax-credit scholarship programs reside in Florida, Louisiana, and Indiana. Still on the front-lines, Betsy continues to campaign for the freedom of choice in education. Learn more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/04/06/what-is-education-secretary-betsy-devos-doing-with-the-rapper-pitbull-in-miami/?utm_term=.dac9eddf93b8