Since Michigan philanthropist and Republican Party donor Betsy DeVos was appointed by President Donald Trump and ultimately endorsed as the new US Education Secretary, a lot has been said about what her leadership portends. An article published on The Atlantic Journal on 23 November, 2016 tries to extricate what we can expect. According to the article Betsy will among other things push for school choice, fight deregulation of charter schools and remain politically active. She believes school choice will give parents the ability to choose the best schools for their children, whether public, private or charter. In line with his promise, President Trump has promptly proposed a $20 billion federal voucher program supporting parent’s decision to take kids to the academic institutions of their choice.
On deregulation, the DeVos family has in the past supported efforts to prevent the state of Michigan from strengthening their oversight over charter schools, even though the idea did not come to fruition. Following that stance, it is likely Betsy DeVos will lean towards deregulation. Statistics indicate that 80% of state level charter schools are operated by private companies, and there are fears that bad charter schools may continue to provide low education standard if left unmonitored. Politically speaking, Betsy DeVos is a devout Republican. She has served the party in various capacities, including acting as Chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party at one time. Betsy and her husband Dick DeVos huge charitable donations and support for the Republican Party has been a subject of discussion by both supporters and critics alike. According to an excerpt on Mlive.com, the DeVoses donated $11.6 million in charitable giving in 2015.
The family doled out a total of $104 million during the same year; a feat that landed the family in the 2015 Forbes list of America Top Givers. In total, Forbes places the lifetime giving of the entire Devos extended family at a staggering $1.3 billion. Most of the donations from Betsy and her husband are targeted at educational causes. In 2013, the list of beneficiaries from the DeVoses included Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Cinematic Art in Grand Rapids and a Detroit charter school called New Urban Learning. Betsy support for education can be traced back to her upbringing. According to an excerpt on Wikipedia, Betsy DeVos grew in a conservative community of Holland, Michigan. She then went to a private school called Holland Christian High School. From high school, she attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Arts. While growing up in Michigan, Betsy attended Christian Reformed Church in North America.
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