Betsy DeVos: Bringing Equality in Education for All Americans

Betsy DeVos is the eleventh U.S secretary of education having taken up the role on 7th February 2017. She has been an education reformist and philanthropist for over 30 years. She is very passionate about helping children from low-income families get an education. She has initiated very many reforms aimed at ensuring that underserved children access education through different non-profit organizations. With her reformative nature and this important position as secretary of education, Mrs. Betsy is expected to advance important reforms in the education system that will bring equal education opportunities for all Americans.

She developed her interest in education at an early age due to the influence of her mother who was a public school teacher. The interest grew even more when she took her children to school, and she was confronted by the reality that not every American child has an equal privilege of accessing education. She got the firsthand experience of what leaders in education were doing to improve the state of education in the country, and the choices parents had to make to ensure that their children had an education. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.

Mrs. Betsy DeVos has served at the Grand Rapids Public Schools as the in-school counselor for children at risk in the area. Her experiences with the children, parents, and teachers made her change her perspective about education as a whole.

In the 1990s Betsy Devos served as a board member of two national charities, the American Education Reform Council and Children First America, which was involved in the expansion of educational choices by providing vouchers and tax credits. In 1993, Betsy and her husband Dick DeVos were involved politically in the passage of the first-charter school bill in Michigan. Betsy DeVos has been politically involved in other education choice movements such as the Great Lakes Education Project which was dedicated to the promotion of education reforms via charter schools in Michigan.

She was also the chair of the All Children Matter political movement. The movement was started by her husband Dick DeVos and the late John Walton. In conjunction with Alliance for School Choice, they aimed at educating the public on the need to have greater educational choices in the country. Even though they don’t achieve their goals at the moment, they later formed a more cohesive organization, the Federation for American Children (AFC) which Betsy chairs. The organization is affiliated with the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children Action Fund. AFC has had many successes in expanding education choices across the country especially in Florida where over 50,000 students are currently attending schools of their own choice.

Before her confirmation as the secretary of education, Mrs. Betsy DeVos was the Chairperson of The Windquest Group. Betsy has been on the boards of different charitable organizations across the country like the Mars Hill Bible Church, ArtPrize, Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and Kids Hope USA. She is also the co-chair of their family charitable organization, Dick, and Betsy Devos Foundation. The foundation has contributed over $1.33 billion towards charity work over the years. Betsy DeVos holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Calvin College. Visit Betsy’s profile page on facebook.com.