Betsy DeVos has always been a reformer. Years before she married her husband, Dick DeVos, she was determined to change the world. The young Elizabeth Prince, on vacation in college more than 30 years, became involved with politics. That thirst for helping people through politics has never changed. DeVos has found other ways to assist people she doesn’t know, through business and education. Now as education secretary, she is taking charge and positively changing lives.
DeVos has been a Leader for the School Voucher Program.
It’s been more than 25 years since the first school choice program began in the United States. School vouchers, also called school choice, is a publicly funded program to assist children stuck in poorly performing school transfer to a private school.
DeVos has never been so optimistic about the school voucher program gaining more success. As of 2017, approximately 250,000 students participated in the program. As of 2017, about 33 publicly funded, private school choice programs were in 17 states and the District of Columbia.
DeVos has always championed for school vouchers. According to DeVos, there was not one specific thing that led her to support school vouchers but may things. When the school voucher concept became well-known, she and her husband had children in school. They visited the Potter’s House Christian School, which for more than 30 years had helping low-income children. While there, DeVos met many parents trying to better their children’s education in a poor learning environment.
DeVos was Determined not to Let any Child be Deprived of an Education Income Status. After they left the Potter’s House Christian School, Devos and her husband tried repeatedly to come up with something to help both the parents and children. According to DeVos, she and her husband could pick the school they wanted, why couldn’t a parent who was low-income?
For DeVos and her husband, the way they could help was simple. In 1990, Dick DeVos ran and won election for Michigan’s State Board of Education. She started a foundation that gave low-income families scholarships to go to private schools of their choice.
She felt great helping Michigan students get the education they need via the scholarship program. However, it wasn’t enough for DeVos. She knew that her foundation wasn’t addressing the real problem: lack of access to education for low income students.
DeVos Met the Challenge of Bring Better Education to Low-Income Children.
During the 1990s, she worked on two national boards, the American Education Reform Council and Children First Charities. Both of the national boards had one goal: expand education choice for low-income student via tax credits and vouchers. She did not stop there. She became a believer in charter schools too. In 1993, she and her husband became involved in politically fighting for a Michigan charter-school bill. About seven years later, they tried, unsuccessfully to the state’s constitution to allow tax credit vouchers or scholarships for low-income children.
Successes and failures have never stopped DeVos. She is committed to providing great education to everyone.
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