Betsy DeVos: Changing the Face of Politics in Education

Betsy DeVos steps into the national spotlight as the United States Secretary of Education. Though new to the national platform, DeVos has been in the public eye as a businesswoman, politician and philanthropist for decades.

DeVos came under fire by some for her stance on charter schools, school vouchers and what some say is a way to make all public schools private. In the article, “Why not give Betsy DeVos and school vouchers a try” some people stand behind her stating public employee unions that oversee the current school system might not have the children’s best interests at heart. Other say as long as we stand together whether it’s about the public school system or public roads, we are strongest. One person actually went as far to say Democrats should open their arms to this Republican support of Islam which is not usual. Most people agree education is about what is best for the students no matter what system they use to learn. Check this related article from

DeVos comes from a wealthy family in Michigan, an heir to the Amway fortune. She quickly got into politics. DeVos was a delegate for the Michigan Republican Party, a Republican National Committeewoman for Michigan and chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. DeVos then became the finance chairperson for the Bush Administration’s National Republican Senatorial Committee. Throughout this time she was a strong supporter or charter schools, school vouchers and education as a whole.

Whether people agree or disagree with Betsy DeVos approach to education, no one can argue she does many philanthropic activities and raises funds for many projects. DeVos and her husband began the Windquest Group in 1989. This company invested in technology, clean energy and manufacturing. The same year DeVos launched the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. This foundation supports community, arts, justice, leadership and education. DeVos and the foundation made over $11.6 million in 2015. This catapulted the DeVos family on the Forbes list in the top 24 of the country’s givers. This foundation donated millions to hospitals, Christian schools, missions as well as many other organizations. Her critics shout DeVos has no public education experience; however, her track record with charter schools proves this isn’t true. Millions of dollars from her foundations directly aided charter schools.

Standing behind her love for education, the DeVos foundation gave over five million to charter schools, over eight million to private Christian schools and almost $60,000 to public schools. They don’t stop at schools, but even put money into college students’ education. DeVos also gives a yearly scholarship, the Betsy and Dick DeVos Scholars for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Scholarship, to students at Northwood University earning a BBA or combined BBA/MBA.

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