in Philanthropy

Education Secretary Betsy Devos

Betsy Devos and her husband Dick are not known as the type of people who like to get involved in national politics. Throughout their lives, they have been more willing to work behind the scenes, spending their money on the causes that are most important to them in the places that matter the most. It’s one of the reasons why their foundation has invested so much money into the revitalization of downtown Grand Rapids. With the elevation of Betsy to the role of Secretary of Education, though, the Devos family has been thrust into the national spotlight. While it might not be a comfortable role for Betsy, she has learned to handle it well.


The people who know Betsy Devos the best would have never predicted that she would find herself in Washington. She never liked to put up with the political red tape that one has to put up with to get things done in that city. Still, those who have known her for many years would have guessed that she would be working on educational policy. After all, this is where her passion has been for decades.


The story for Devos started in Michigan when she tried to find an appropriate school for her children. She heard the stories from people around her who could not find a suitable option despite looking for months. As she looked at the public and private school options close to home, she realized that for people who did not have access to resources like she did, it was almost impossible to find a good option. She heard their stories and watched as they struggled. Those parents would end up sending their children to schools that were not equipped to provide the kind of education kids need to get ahead in the 21st century. This struck Devos as deeply unfair. From there, she’s worked hard to bring about change.


Her elevation to the Secretary role has allowed her to champion school choice and academic freedom around the country. From Louisiana to Michigan and beyond, she has had a chance to talk about vouchers and other initiatives that might provide parents with more options when they seek to help their children. While her efforts are just beginning, they are off to a good start. Many more people have gotten behind school choice as a means of curing the problems that exist in the American educational system today.


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