Betsy Devos Recap Article
Betsy DeVos has become known as education reformer. She has been working towards education reform since her days at Calvin College as Elisabeth Prince, when she started to work with campus politics and joining political groups. She has led all types of political campaigns, party organizations, and action committees for over 30 years. This includes her six years as the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party.
She also married someone who was familiar with the political arena. Dick DeVos was the Rpublican nominee for the Governor of Michigan in 2006.
DeVos’s most important achievement has been becoming the US Education Secretary. In her new role, she has led a political reform for education and promoted private education vouchers as well as private schools, instead of funding public education. Through her work, she has seen success in education recently. There are now 250,000 students in 33 publicly funded, private programs, also called school choice programs.
DeVos says that these students and programs are an accomplishment. It has swept the nation, expanding programs to Ohio, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania. Much of her work in education started decades ago, when she visited the Potter’s House Christian School, which provided private education to families who do not have a lot of income. DeVos said that she wanted to send her kids to a school that was committed to education and was happy that there was a choice.
Early in her career, she served on the boards of various charities including Children First America and the American Education Reform Council. Both of these were designed around passing Michigan’s first charter school bill in 1993. In 2000, she also tried to change the state constitution to allow for a tax-credit scholarship or vouchers so that more students could attend private schools. She especially wanted to bring this to urban school districts, who wanted better education options.
This formed the American Federation for Children for which Betsy DeVos is a chair. DeVos worked to bring people together who would be key in creating a national program for charter schools and private education vouchers. This new organization was affiliated with the American Federation for Children Action Fund. These efforts helped change the mind of potential legislators, getting those people elected, and then crafting better legislation. Finally, once laws are passed, they work with the programs to make sure that they work for children.
DeVos counts Florida as her biggest success as it has a large tax-credit scholarship program that has allowed for educational choice across the state. Learn more: https://www.nccivitas.org/civitas-review/devos-hits-home-run-harvard/