Betsy DeVos, the new United States Secretary of Education under President Donald Trump, is known for a variety of things. She and her husband are known for their philanthropy as well as their activism. Betsy DeVos in particular is known for her efforts to reform education in the United States. An interview recently conducted with Mrs. DeVos by Philanthropy Roundtable lent a great deal of insight into what she has done and what she plans to do in the future.
During this interview, Betsy DeVos said that she’s extremely optimistic about private school voucher programs that she has set into motion. She says that the growth of the movement is faster than ever, with 40,000 new students entering educational choice programs in the last year alone. In addition, many new programs in different states have come into play. She states that public school programs are currently failing, which is only helping her cause.
When she talks about what got her started in education reform, she says that it was not one moment that drew her into this cause. However, she said that she and her husband saw many parents who were not able to provide for their children what they were able to provide for their own. They believed that it was important to support the individual students in all of their endeavors and dreams for the future. Betsy and her husband saw that low-income children and their parents were the ones that needed the most help, so they decided to concentrate all of their intention there. Betsy started a foundation that would provide scholarships for these low-income families, so that parents would have the freedom to make choices as to how their children would have taken their education. However, she did realize quickly that this was not going to solve the problem on the level that she wanted to solve it, as this would only help a few people and not all of the people who needed help. Becoming more involved in the educational choice movement on a political level was clearly what needed to be done in order to exercise the influence that Betsy DeVos wanted to exercise.
Because she wanted to have more influence then through simple philanthropy and providing a few scholarships to a few people, she served on the boards of national charities that were in place to address the issue of education reform. She even went so far as to start a political action committee in the state of Michigan that was meant to expand the influence of charter schools all throughout Michigan. However, her influence spread to other states as well, and she claims that she has had the most success with her efforts in the state of Florida.
Betsy DeVos is a strong member of the Republican party, but she believes that her efforts are soon going to be supported by democrats as well. She is particularly focused on educational choice, and she wants every child to be able to go to school and choose their schools without the restrictions of poverty. Learn more: http://www.betsydevos.com/