At first glance, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ charitable donations are laudable. She’s donated nearly $139 million over the years, much of which was given to education causes.
DeVos can contribute financially to so many causes because of her husband dick DeVos, co-founder of Amway. Betsy’s school friends from Grand Rapids, Michigan recall Dick picking her up in his Mercedes, and his success has grown, making both public figures billionaires. While their charity is no laughing matter, it’s only about a quarter of their net worth.
However, Devos has come under fire for contributing to political campaigns and conservative religious groups. Even when she focuses on education, DeVos has faced ire from a public that disagrees with using public funds to allow students to attend private and religious schools. Devos has also faced scrutiny because so much of her contributions are funneled through the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation.
Still, Betsy DeVos remains firm and even optimistic about education vouchers. As both the secretary of education and a philanthropist, DeVos has focused on reforming education, which she has publicly stated fails to fulfill the American dream. Citing the fact that children from poorer neighborhoods cannot access quality education, DeVos argues that providing students with a choice of schools will only allow for success.
Recent news suggests that Mrs. DeVos has not only alienated some of the American public, mostly those who are left-leaning but that the Education Secretary is also in the middle of a rift with President Trump who ran on the Republican ticket. The president recently lifted a federal policy that would enable transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identities.
The repeal happened despite reported opposition from DeVos, who has been described as relentless and driven, a person who shouldn’t be underestimated or viewed as weak. Former state attorney general even described DeVos as “steely” when working toward her goal.
So while she may be at odds with the Trump administration over transgender bathroom rights, Devos surely possesses the power to keep pushing education reform through, regardless of any public outcry against her advocacy.
To learn more, visit www.betsydevos.com.