Betsy DeVos has been a lifelong philanthropist. Her area of the biggest giving is education followed by the arts, leadership, and other areas. She is a big advocate for giving families a choice in where to send their students for their education outside of the public education system. Additionally, she is now the U.S. Secretary of Education after being nominated by President Trump and being approved by the Senate.
The educational reform movement which Betsy DeVos is a leader in seeks to enable children to attend charter schools in every state across the country. Currently, this choice is available to students in 17 states plus Washington D.C. The cost of attending a charter school instead of a public school is subsidized through the use of tax credits and vouchers. This helps middle and lower income families remove their children from failing public schools and instead place them in a charter school in their area. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.
While Betsy DeVos and her husband, Dick, donate a lot of money to nonprofits in the educational industry they also have supported them in the past by serving in leadership roles in a number of nonprofits. Betsy DeVos has been on the board of Children First America and the American Education Reform Council which are both national nonprofits. Other boards she has served on includes Kids Hope USA, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the DeVos Institute for Arts Management among others.
According to Betsy DeVos, one of the biggest successes in the school choice movement has taken place in Florida. More than 50,000 students in the state now attend a charter school as the state offers a tax-credit scholarship program. Having a choice in which school to attend is widely supported by both policymakers and the public. While there have been efforts to overturn the laws supporting school choice they have been successfully turned back due to this support.
As the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos has pledged to provide every student with an equal opportunity to receive a high-quality education. She has said that it is not her belief that a child’s educational outcome should be primarily tied to the income of the family they come from and what zip code they live in. She has also vowed to return control of public schools to the localities and states in which they are located. She also wants to give the parents of students more power over what school their child attends in every state across the nation. Visit Betsy’s profile page on Facebook.
Before being confirmed as the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos had been the Chairman of the Board of The Windquest Group, a company she had co-founded along with her husband. This is an investment company that primarily puts its money into industrial and technology firms.