Most Americans heard the name Betsy DeVos for the first time when Donald Trump nominated her to be U.S. Secretary of Education. However, to most people who are involved in the political landscape of education reform, Betsy DeVos is no stranger. DeVos began her career in politics at Calvin College. She’s been involved in politics and education reform ever since.
DeVos has seen her share of political action committees, political campaigns and party leadership. She served as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for six years. In 2006, her husband, Dick DeVos, won the Republican nomination for Governor of Michigan. He failed to win the seat.
The sitting U.S. Education Secretary is no stranger to philanthropy, either. She runs the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. The Foundation serves a wide variety of charitable interests some of which are education. DeVos is a board member of the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. She’s also on the board of Mars Hill Bible church and Kids Hope USA.
DeVos is passionate about reform. She’s been a strong supporter of school choice long before she took the helm of the Department of Education. She’s on the boards of both the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children. DeVos says that she’s “optimistic” about the future of education in America and hopes that school tuition vouchers are a part of that plan.
Since instituting school vouchers in Milwaukee nearly 25 years ago, the school choice program has ballooned to 250,000 students who attend 33 private schools. DeVos says that more states are adding voucher programs, and that’s a good thing. She says that school vouchers are a welcome change for people who aren’t happy with traditional public school programs.
DeVos says that she draws inspiration for school reform from Potter’s House Christian School in her hometown of Grand Rapids. Potter’s House serves primarily low-income families with a goal of providing an excellent education for students. Her family financially supported several students at the school and still provides financial support for the school. She said she wants to help low-income students across the country access an excellent education that meets their individual needs.
Betsy DeVos grew up in Holland, Michigan as Betsy Prince. She attended Holland Christian High School. DeVos married Dick DeVos, son of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos. They have children and grandchildren. The DeVos family is known throughout West Michigan for their ownership of Amway and community philanthropy. 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