Betsy DeVos is a generous American businesswoman who is on a mission to support the students in her nation. She is the co-founder of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, which has donated millions of dollars to educational nonprofits and the arts and culture. In 2015, the foundation donated over $2.9 million to educational causes, which accounted for 26 percent of its total donations for the year. Just two years before this, the foundation donated large sums of money to Detroit Charter School Company New Urban Learning, Compass College of Cinematic Arts in Grand Rapids, the West Michigan Aviation Academy, and many other educational organizations.
Betsy DeVos doesn’t partake in philanthropy to look good or to make a name for herself. She does so because she genuinely wants to help her country’s school system. She has been a strong, outspoken representative of the educational choice movement for decades and has fought hard to make the changes she sees as crucial for the success of students in the U.S. While Republicans favor educational choice more so than Democrats, DeVos has been able to bring both sides together at different times in order to pass important legislation. She was happy to support legislation in Louisiana that was favored by both political parties there and attributes the success in the state to a grassroots movement she was part of.
While Betsy DeVos supports many different educational programs, she believes that charter schools provide an option that more young students need access to. In general, she supports the idea that families should have as many educational options as possible. In Michigan, she has helped to expand charter schools all over the state. She has also supported the efforts of people like John Kirtley in Florida who has been able to pass a tax-credit scholarship program that is funding the education of 50,000 students in the state. She is aware that many people believe that charter schools are the only answer to a failing public school system, but she has commented that these kinds of schools take some time to get started up.
Betsy DeVos has been active in the politics of the United States for most of her life. She served as the Republican National Committeewoman in Michigan for five years during the 1990s and also served as the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. In 2016, she became the 11th secretary of education to serve the United States and was confirmed in with a tie breaking vote that was cast by vice president Mike Pence. She founded the Great Lakes Education Project, which fought to expand charter schools in Michigan during the early 2000s and also helped to pass the state’s first charter school legislation.
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