Dutch immigrants had chosen western Michigan nearly 150 years ago. They chose this place due to many reasons, one of them being its isolation. This way they felt that they could keep their orthodox community away from American influences. This is the place from where President Donald Trump has picked up his education secretary.
Betsy DeVos is set to become the top-ranking education official of the nation. She is married to Amway scion Dick DeVos. He is the son of Richard DeVos who is worth more than $5 billion as per Forbes. The family has history of spending a lot on right-wing causes. They have spent $200 million since 1970 on media outlets, various political committees, as well as advocacy groups. People are well aware of the long support of Betsy DeVos towards vouchers that can be used for private, religious schools.
Betsy DeVos also supports conservative Christian groups such as the Foundation for Traditional Values. She believes in softening the separation of church from state. She also supports organizations such as Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy. They have always worked towards privatizing the education system.
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The fact is that Betsy DeVos is not really against public schools. All that she believes in is that the teachers in charter as well as private schools are much better at providing better education. She advocates for such education so that students are prepared for current times. She wants to move away from standardization as well as testing. This is why Dick and Betsy DeVos have given money for public schools also.
Betsy DeVos is a deeply devout person for whom education plays a key role. She has faith in the legal doctrine and wants to separate church and state. In fact, she believes that the church has been displaced as the public school becomes the center for activity.
Indeed, Betsy DeVos is attempting to give a new definition to “school choice.” She wants to give parents the ability to choose any traditional public school or even a charter school in their district. This is why she wants to allow taxpayer money to be diverted to any private school. This can be done via vouchers. This can lead to a radical reform as funds from traditional public schools get redirected to private schools. Do note that many of these private schools are Christian. This way any family can move away from the government schools that are failing and choose either charter, or private, or even religious schools.
Betsy DeVos does not comment on how her religious views are affecting her philanthropy as well as political activism. But her spending is speaking volumes. Dick and Betsy DeVos have also donated huge amounts to hospitals as well as health research besides arts organizations.
Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.