Betsy DeVos: A Leading Reformer

Betsy DeVos has been a reformer since her time at Calvin College, which is when she was known as Elisabeth Prince. Since then, Mrs. DeVos has been at the forefront of a wide range of party organizations, political campaigns, and political action committees. She served as the chairman for the Michigan Republican Party for six years, and she is dedicated to finding innovative ways to solve social problems in the United States.

 

Mrs. DeVos is married to Dick DeVos. He is also a reformer and was a Republican nominee for the Governor of Michigan. In 1989, the couple founded the Windquest Group, which is a multi-company organization that puts focus on clean energy, technology, and manufacturing.

 

She has also contributed her time and resources to numerous nonprofit organizations. Mrs. DeVos is the chairman of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, and she is also a member of many local and national boards. These include the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, Kids Hope USA, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and Mars Hill Bible Church.

 

During an interview Mrs. DeVos explained that she became interested in the educational-choice movement in the 1990s, and she served on two national charity boards that included Children First America and the American Education Reform Council. These organizations worked to provide children with educational choice vouchers and tax credits. Mrs. DeVos has been determined since then to fight for educational reform through the use of vouchers.

 

According to Mrs. DeVos, one of her biggest accomplishments was the tax-credit scholarship program in Florida. Since the program started, it has expanded and now has more than 50,000 students who can attend the school of their choice. Mrs. DeVos explained that she doesn’t want American students restricted to a certain school based on their zip code.

 

She also shows interest in the potential of digital learning and feels that homeschooling is a valid option for parents who want to take control of their children’s education. Mrs. DeVos stated that she understands how parents can have frustration because they lack power of their children’s education, and homeschooling gives parents control of their children’s education. She also feels that charter schools are an ideal choice as an alternative to public schools. She feels the educational choice movement involves virtual schools, homeschooling, charter schools, vouchers, and tax credits.

 

Mrs. DeVos feels that education is a top priority. In 2015, the DeVos couple donated more than $3 million to educational charities, which was 26 percent of their charitable donations that year. The DeVos family is well-known for making charitable donations without mandating how the funds are used, but when they do make suggestions, it is because they feel it will make a positive impact.

 

For updates, follow Betsy DeVos on twitter.