Betsy DeVos has worked within education reform for most of her career. She started at Calvin College, getting involved in student government early on, and then she joined the Gerald Ford campaign. While she has always been active in the Michigan Republican Party, it wasn’t until 2016 that she was able to hold an official political office. She had finally gotten her dream, to become the 11th US Education Secretary.
However, there were issues for the new secretary. For one, she had never been a teacher. Many believed that she didn’t have the experience. However, if you knew anything about Betsy DeVos‘ background, it was that she had been fighting for student education rights since the 1990s.
DeVos grew up with a public school teacher. Her mother had taught at the nearby school, and Betsy knew what it was like to want to do more for students. That’s why she says that she always puts students first when it comes to new policies. She also doesn’t seem to care about opponents who claim that educational choice is a slippery slope to paying for private schools with public funding. However, DeVos remarked in a recent interview with “60 Minutes” that people simply didn’t understand.
Philanthropy has actually been the biggest supporter for private choice. Now students are able to pick where they want to go to school. They no longer have to choose a school where they are zoned, but rather, they can go wherever they want. However, they still have to apply and get accepted into these programs. DeVos has been working with students across the country to get more educational choice options available, but it’s been difficult so far.
She has only been able to get a few states to keep educational choice options. These include Florida and Louisiana. Florida is the most successful, according to DeVos. This state has the most options, including magnet programs, homeschooling programs, virtual schools, charter schools, and private schools. In addition, Florida is the only state to have a tuition-based scholarship for students who apply and get accepted into private schools.
not everything is so cut and dry according to Betsy DeVos. She has been trying to help students understand their potential and do better in school, while also trying to affect gun safety and campus safety. She was placed in charge of school safety reform as well in 2018 by President Trump. Since then, new policies have changed the way that campus security is run and there are more safety drills. DeVos hopes that this will make it safer for students to go to school without having to add more guns onto campuses.
DeVos will continue to champion educational reform, believing that private choice is the best option for students in the country right now.
Visit www.betsydevos.com to learn more.