Betsy DeVos: US Education Secretary and Reformer

Betsy DeVos has been politically active since her time at Calvin College. She serves on a number of national and local boards that include Mars Hill Bible Church, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Kids Hope USA, the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, and the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She is the chairman of the Alliance for School Choice, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, and the American Federation for Children. Ms. DeVos also started the Windquest Group with her husband, Dick DeVos. She is the chairman of the Windquest Group, which is a privately-held firm that invests in clean energy, technology, and manufacturing.


An Interview With Ms. DeVos

During an interview with Philanthropy, Ms. DeVos was asked about her devotion to educational reform. Ms. DeVos has been involved in educational reform for more than 30 years. She explained that a visit to Potter’s House Christian School opened her eyes to how low-income parents were doing everything they could to provide their children with a quality education. She feels that children shouldn’t be confined to attending a specific school based on where they live.


She was asked what her biggest accomplishment was when it comes to educational reform. Ms. DeVos explained that it was the tax-scholarship program in Florida, which has allowed more than 50,000 students to attend their families school of choice. She explained that an estimated 250,000 students attend 33 private-choice schools in more than 15 states.


Ms. DeVos explained that she wants to harness the power of technology to expand educational choice. She believes that digital learning, homeschooling, and blended learning are ideal ways to enable children to achieve their full potential. She also explained that homeschooling is a great way to give parents more control over their children’s education.


The West Michigan Aviation Academy

Betsy DeVos and Dick DeVos stared the West Michigan Aviation Academy in 2010. The school is a tuition-free public charter high school that trains students for careers in the aviation industry. The school is located at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and has more than 400 students from all over Michigan.


Mr. and Mrs. DeVos’ Charitable Contributions

Dick and Betsy DeVos have been contributing to a number of charities for many years. In 2015, Forbes named the DeVos family as one of Americas Top Givers. In 2015, the DeVos’ donated an estimated $11.6 million to charities, and the family’s lifetime contributions are $1.33 billion.


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