Betsy DeVos considers herself a reformer. The Calvin College graduate spent all of her years involving herself in campus politics and hasn’t looked back.
DeVos is the current Sec. of Education and wife of Billionaire CEO Dick DeVos. Mrs. DeVos political involvement includes ten years as the head of Michigan’s Republican Party Chair, several political action committees and a behind the scenes force for her husband when he ran in 2006 to unseat Jennifer Granholm.
The DeVoses are always looking for innovative solutions. She was the chairperson of the Windcrest Group, a privately owned corporation that invests in clean energy. The family also owns the Orlando Magic NBA team.
Most importantly, Mrs. DeVos donated a great deal of time to she and her husband’s non-profit — the Dick and Betsy DeVos Charitable Foundation. What she is perhaps best known for is her devotion to education.
For many years, she has pushed for school choice. Although the idea didn’t exactly catch fire in Michigan, she and her husband were able to get other states to jump on the bandwagon.
Mrs. DeVos says she is very pleased with all of the states that added educational choice programs. Today there are 24, along with the District of Columbia. She feels that there are a number of failing schools in Michigan that aren’t serving the needs of the students.
She says her visits to the Potter House Christian School is what really motivated her. The school is attended by children from lower income families. Mrs. DeVos says she was overwhelmed at how close the families were and how eager the children were to learn.
The tuition was a burden on many of the families. The DeVoses began sponsoring the tuition for many of the families. This really motivated Mrs. DeVos to work for change. While she was instrumental in seeing through Michigan’s 1993 charter school bill, the 2000 bill didn’t fare so well.
In 2000, she and her husband tried to implement tax credit scholarships and vouchers into the constitution. The bill did not pass to her disappointment.
“It was a tragedy because so many children in Michigan were not being served and stuck in under-performing schools.
Apart from educational reforms, Mrs. DeVos says she is very receptive to digital learning. She says she’s always amazed when she sees her grandchildren navigating an iPad. She says children should have the opportunity to embrace these technologies. Learn more: http://www.betsydevos.com/education/