Betsy and Dick Devos are a political powerhouse now that they are both in Washington. Betsy Devos became the 11th US Education Secretary under President Trump in 2016 and has been moving her way across the country, hoping to change people’s minds about educational choice. There have been millions of dollars donated through the Devos Family Foundation, as well. Over $134 million has been donated to charities, education, health, cultural arts, and medicine. The couple rely on their conservative beliefs and Christian values to guide their donations, but it’s clear that they have a soft spot for education.
Betsy Devos has been criticized by the left for her policies, but they don’t realize a lot of her educational choice plans are built upon philanthropy. She has connections to several high net worth individuals, including Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Sam Walton of Wal-Mart. Throughout her campaign, she has stuck to the principles that what she is doing is better for students, but not necessarily for public school teachers.
Educational choice is a simple program that allows students to choose where they go to school. This means that if a student is zoned in a failing area, they can simply choose to go to another school that is not failing. Sometimes, students apply and are accepted into private schools and charter schools. There are scholarship programs in place to help these students but only in some states. Currently, Florida is one of the states with the most educational choice options.
Devos says that Florida and Louisiana are the most successful so far when it comes to educational choice. She must continue to work in this field and help other states gain more power when it comes to education. Her whole point is that school should be safe and attractive for students. When a student has to go to a failing school, they may not want to because of the violence and lack of education.
For this reason, students can choose to go into a different program, such as a virtual school program, homeschooling, charter school, private school, or magnet program. Florida has a tuition-based scholarship program currently that helps approved students go to the school of their dreams.
While she has faced some tough interviews, her toughest one yet was with Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes,” who grilled her on the success of these programs. Betsy said that it would take more than a couple of years to get the programs implemented. In addition, she has been working with President Trump to help school safety reform, allowing students back into schools this 2018-2019 school year only after security measures were updated.
Betsy Devos is one of the most polarizing figures yet in America’s fight for education. However, she seems to be helping students and parents get the kind of education they want for their students.
For updates, follow Betsy DeVos on twitter.