Betsy Devos sat down and spoke with Philanthropy Magazine in the spring of 2013. During the interview she discussed her long-term and continuing interest in educational reform and school choice. She ended the interview by saying that her goal is for all parents “regardless of their zip code” to have “the opportunity to choose the best educational setting for their children.” And for “all students” to have “the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential.”
DeVos became a strong believer in school choice while her children were young and still attending school. She was acutely aware of the role wealth played in allowing her family to decide where her children would attend school. Convinced that all parents should have the ability to make the same decisions on behalf of their children that she was able make for hers, DeVos became a staunch advocate of school choice.
Before becoming Secretary of Education in the administration of president Donald Trump, Devos had been involved in Republican party politics for a number of years. Her enthusiasm for political life began during her undergraduate years at Calvin College. While she’s donated to and supported a variety of conservative causes, education and educational reform are the topics about which she is the most passionate and enthusiastic.
The DeVos family has been particularly generous when it comes to donating money to support educational projects. In 2015, the Bill and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation contributed 11.6 million dollars to charities. DeVos family donations to charity in 2015 far outstrip the 5.3 million dollars they donated to political causes between 2010 and 2015. The couple provided 3 million dollars worth of charitable donations to educational projects and groups in 2015. This constituted approximately 26 percent of the couple’s giving for the year. In that same time period, the foundation provided an additional 357,000 dollars to support educational reform causes.
In the 2013 article DeVos expressed support for a wide variety of educational choice delivery platforms including: tax credits, vouchers, educational savings accounts, religious schools, charter schools, homeschooling, and online education. The article indicates DeVos is aware of opposition from Democrats and teachers’ unions when it comes to her visions of school choice but does not discuss the substance of their opposition. Nor does the article provide any indication that DeVos understands, is aware of, or takes into consideration the issues those opposed to her vision of educational choice consistently raise. Learn more: http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2017/06/ex-british_pm_david_cameron_pr.html