Betsy DeVos comes from a high-profile family dynasty that has been a player in Republican politics for decades. Ms. DeVos reported $11.6 million in charitable political donations in 2015 alone as part of her vetting process for the post of education secretary. According to Forbes, Ms. DeVos family’s fortune is estimated to be $1.3 billion. Betsy DeVos and her husband have prioritized education when it comes to philanthropy. They contributed $3 million to education in 2015.
Betsy DeVos has had a rocky start to life in Washington. It all started in her Senate confirmation hearing. Ms. Devos shaky answering questions on federal law and policy was a cause of concern. Her first major challenge was when President Trump rescinded a federal law which allowed for transgender children to access bathrooms that were in line with their gender identities. Betsy DeVos quickly met with a rep of the gay and transgender employees to warn of the impending situation.
An aide gave assurance to the employee that Ms. Devos was completely against the move even when there was no clear public indication she’d disagreed with White House.
Those who have worked Ms. DeVos from back in the years of being an advocate for charter schools know she is far from a meek player. She appears calm and collected even in face of overwhelming challenges. In her hometown, she is known to be a fighter and is not afraid to use her fortune to advance her political ideology and agendas.
When she arrived in Washington, Ms. DeVos had no inside government experience and no any known history with President Donald Trump. Some of her critics have pointed out that she has little connections with public schools having attended only private schools throughout her education.
Ms. DeVos has for over 30 years championed for tax dollars to be channeled to charter schools as opposed to public schools. It even runs further as she has publicly supported charter schools run by for-profit business entities.
Mostly because of her efforts, Detroit currently has the largest concentration of charter schools in the United States. Majority of them are low-performing and the supply is more than the demand. This is a glaring contrast as Detroit has some of the worst public schools in the nation and the situation continues to deteriorate each passing day. During her confirmation hearing, Ms. DeVos was keen to note that most Americans go to public schools.
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