At 59, this wealthy Republican Party donor, married to heir Dick DeVos (whose father, Richard DeVos, founded Amway), is first and foremost a politically influential woman in the state of Michigan, where she once headed the local branch of the Republican Party. However, her faith in private schools is what has resulted in her being named as the Secretary of Education. For Betsy DeVos and the promoters of charter schools, these schools offer students an alternative “choice” to the public schools that are in the line of fire of the conservatives because of the influence of the unions and the impossibility of dismissing teachers who are considered to have done a lousy job.
Also, Betsy DeVos’ father, Edgar Prince, founded the conservative and religious Family Research Council in 1983. She is the wife of Dick DeVos, the son of the businessman Richard DeVos, whose wealth was estimated at 5.4 billion dollars in 2016. She strongly feels that the parents ought to have the right to select the right academic atmosphere for their very own offspring, and this is what she said at her January 17 Senate hearing. Her confirmation was also the first time in history that a Vice-President has voted for approval, as the Constitution allows in the event of a tie.
She also chaired the Republican party’s local branch for the state of Michigan. Her Democratic opponents reacted after her hearing by the Senate on the 17th of January, during which her stances against the public school system reinforced the opinions of the Democratic senators. Remember, the DeVos have used their wealth extensively to support political causes that are important to them.
Michigan is a laboratory for the creation of “charter schools,” private schools partly financed by public funds. Still a candidate, Trump promised to redirect $20 billion in federal funds to develop private schools. At the head of a fortune estimated at several billion dollars, the DeVos family generously gave over 200 million dollars to the Republican Party.
Her fortune is also the 88th largest fortune in the United States, according to Forbes magazine. Michigan is one of the examples of how choice has led to a change in the educational system. Betsy DeVos is also notably pro-private school. It was also through the vote of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence that she was able to win a majority of the votes of the Senate and thereby confirm her appointment.
The United States Secretary of Education said that it was “possible” that her family had contributed about 200 million dollars to the Republicans over the years, notes Forbes. Betsy DeVos has long been a strong advocate for the development of private education in the United States. Also, to promote the charter school movement at the national level, Betsy DeVos founded the American Federation for Children in 2010, which some on the left also support. Therefore, it is clear that her efforts to promote the charter school movement will continue now that she is the United States Secretary of Education.
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