Since school choice and educational reform has been a passion of Betsy DeVos for the past 30 years, she was a natural choice for the office of Secretary of Education and was approved and sworn in on February 7, 2017. Her desire to help parents provide the best education possible for their children and to help low income children access a quality education translated into a successful movement nationwide. Her effort includes board memberships on Kids Hope USA and the Foundation for Excellence in Education as well as chairman of the American Federation for Children and the Alliance for School Choice. Betsy DeVos spoke of the progress the educational choice program was making and the increasing number of students and states nationwide in an interview with Philanthropy Magazine in 2013. Now as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education, those wanting better educational options for their children has a champion in office.
Known for their philanthropy, the DeVos family is also known for their hard work in the political arena to improve and support community services. In fact Betsy’s husband Dick was elected to the State Board of Education of Michigan in 1990. When their efforts failed to pass a state constitution that allowed tax credit scholarships and vouchers, Betsy Devos started a foundation to give low income families scholarships to allow parents to decide where their children attend school. She not only gave money to a cause, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work advocating and serving as an in school mentor to at risk children in the Grand Rapids Public Schools. She gained valuable insight interacting with the students, families and teachers. She also worked to help craft legislation, support candidates, and help students find schools once legislation was passed. As the U. S. Secretary of Education, she will hopefully have greater reach and gains.
In the 2013 interview, Betsy DeVos also spoke of the potential influence of virtual schools, magnet schools, home schooling and charter schools as school choice options for children and their parents. In her new role, Betsy now has the opportunity to work passionately on her dream that all parents have the ability to choose the best educational setting for their children and that all children have a chance to live up to their potential. Her commitment can bring about great things for education in America. Visit Betsy’s profile page on facebook.com.