Betsy DeVos: A Leader at the Forefront of Educational Reform

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Betsy DeVos: A Dedicated Reformer

Betsy DeVos has been involved in reform since her days at Calvin College. She has served on political action committees, campaigns, and party organizations for more than 30 years. Ms. DeVos was the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for six years, and her husband, Dick DeVos, was a Republican candidate for the Governor of Michigan. She is the chairman of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation and the Windquest Group, and she is a member of numerous national and local boards. These boards include the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, Kids Hope USA, and Mars Hill Bible Church. Ms. DeVos is also the chairman of the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children.


Ms. DeVos and Educational Reform

Philanthropy interviewed Ms. DeVos regarding her exceptional work with educational reform and freedom of school choice. Ms. DeVos explained that she is optimistic about the progression of educational reform. She stated that 17 states and the District of Columbia offer 33 publicly funded private-choice education programs that more than 250,000 students attend. When she was asked how she got involved in educational reform, she explained that a visit to Potter’s House Christian School opened her eyes to how education should be for every student in the country. She explained that children should not be required to attend a specific school based on where they live.


When asked about her biggest accomplishment in educational reform, she stated it was the tax-credit scholarship program in Florida. This program has yielded the longest period of educational choice in the United States with more than 50,000 students in the state who are able to attend their school of choice. She also believes that the use of technology can benefit children who are homeschooled. When she was asked about homeschooling, she stated that it was a valid option for parents who want more control of their child’s education.


Mr. and Mrs. DeVos: Generous Philanthropists

Dick and Betsy DeVos are known for their generous charitable contributions. The DeVos family was ranked 24th on Forbes list of America’s Top Givers in 2015. The DeVos family has donated an estimated $1.33 billion, which is roughly one-fourth of the family’s $5.3 billion fortune. In 2015, the couple donated more than $3 million to educational causes.


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