Betsy DeVos: The Educational Reformer

Ms. Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos is a reformer who is at the forefront of the educational choice movement. She has been actively involved in reform since her time at Calvin College. Ms. DeVos has been involved in a number of campaigns, political action movements, and party organizations. She is the chairman of the American Federation for Children, the Alliance for School Choice, the Windquest Group, and the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. She was also the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for six years. Ms. DeVos is a member of local and national boards that include Kids Hope USA, Mars Hill Bible Church, and the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center.


Ms. DeVos on Educational Reform and Freedom of School Choice

Ms. DeVos is at the core of the educational reform movement. When she was asked how she became involved in this movement, she stated that a visit to a charter school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, many years ago made her aware of how education should be in the United States. Since then, Ms. DeVos has worked diligently to reform educational policies. According to Ms. DeVos, her biggest accomplishment in educational reform was the tax-credit scholarship program in Florida, which has the longest period of educational choice in the United States.


Ms. DeVos believes that the educational choice movement is comprised of many factors that include charter schools, virtual schools, homeschooling, and magnet schools. She feels that technology is vital for educational reform. For instance, homeschooled children are able to reap the same benefits of children in traditional classrooms because of the advancements in technology. When she was asked about homeschooling, she explained that parents who are fed up with the public school system have more control over their children’s education when they choose homeschooling.


Ms. DeVos motivated her husband to start a charter school that prepares children for careers in the aviation industry. The West Michigan Aviation Academy is a tuition-free high school with students from all over Michigan. Other than core classes, the school also provides high school students with hands-on technical training.


The DeVos Family’s Charitable Donations

The DeVos family has donated a generous amount to a number of charitable institutions. In 2015, Forbes ranked the DeVos family 24th on the list of America’s Top Givers, and the family donated an estimated $104 million to different charities the same year.


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