Betsy DeVos Faces Critics Over Philanthropy

Many in the education community are still confused by the appointment of Betsy DeVos to the 11th Office of US Education Secretary. What about this conservative woman has so many administrators and teachers upset in public schools? For one, she is a supporter of educational choice, and she has never officially worked as a teacher. Those issues have caused some grumbling, but it’s truthfully the idea that public funding would go towards private education.


Is that actually what’s happening?


Betsy DeVos has said that isn’t the case. In fact, she has made it clear to everything that her plans have always been to put students first. However, she continues to be questioned by many who believe that she hasn’t been honest about her plans with educational choice programs. However, many of these programs were already in place before Betsy DeVos became the US Education Secretary.


DeVos simply wants to improve on the options for students around the country to go to school. She says that philanthropy has made it possible for students to join these programs, especially in states where there is no support for charter schools and private schools. Some of her donors include big names, like Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook or Bill Gates from Microsoft. These tech giants have realized that it’s better to keep students away from common core method and the No Child Left Behind policies that still persist.


Many in education have questioned whether DeVos will make changes to the public funding aspect, but so far, she has remained supportive of philanthropy and educational choice. She has said that Florida and Louisiana are the best states for these programs. Florida has risen to prominence because of the sheer amount of programs and schools available for students. Students are not forced to go to the same school as where they are zoned.


The problem with educational choice is that it can easily be seen as a publicly funded program, but DeVos has stated in several interviews that it isn’t her goal to make taxpayers pay for private schools. In fact, she simply wants students to be able to get the best education that they can. She wants to put students first.


DeVos hasn’t been able to focus 100 percent on education reform. She has also been forced into school safety reform due to gun violence problems in 2018. These issues forced her to think about how students felt safe or not at school, and many policies were put into action to help combat guns on campus. However, all of that has recently changed with new policies that would allow teachers to carry guns on campus.


While it’s been difficult to maintain her campaign in office, she has had the support of President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, who recently went on tour with Betsy DeVos in Florida.


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