Betsy DeVos: From Advocate to the Department of Education

The early ’50s Milton Friedman would pen an important essay on the role of the government in the area of education. That writing would be revolutionary for its day but it would stay relegated to the fringes for almost thirty years. The concepts therein would be adopted by Betsy DeVos, a prominent Republican and GOP donor from Michigan, and raised to prominence through her work. Betsy DeVos now serves as the leader of the Department of Education. DeVos has been confirmed by the Senate to operate as President Trump’s Secretary of Education. This position will allow Betsy DeVos to push forward with her goal of reforming American education.


Betsy DeVos wasn’t the first person to come up with an educational choice, as we alluded to above. However, she is one of the most prominent figures to ever take up the concept and run with it. Over the past thirty years, Betsy DeVos has spent countless hours of her life as well as her own money in order to support educational reform at the highest levels. DeVos has long since touted grassroots outreach as the most effective way to reach people, and she is living proof of the concept. While DeVos was born into a wealthy family and married into an even wealthier family, she has never been shy about putting in the work herself.


DeVos believes that school choice is more possible than ever from a national perspective. Due to her work, 17 states have adopted private-choice programs. Throughout these 17 states, there are 33 institutions and more than 250,000 students enrolled in the private-choice curriculum. States like Michigan and Florida have become icons for the movement and it is due, again, to her work. DeVos has personally chaired several major political action committees while also operating as the chair for the Michigan Republican Party. Now, DeVos will be stepping into an even bigger body of water in order to fight the same fight.


In Washington D.C., Betsy DeVos will be one of the least experienced politicians on the Hill. Of course, DeVos was explicitly chosen for her lack of political experience as well as her commitment to bringing an outsider’s perspective to politics. With that being said, DeVos has shown time and again that she is not willing to be bullied or bowed by anyone from either side of the political aisle. In Michigan, Betsy DeVos worked hard to cultivate a reputation for being a razor-sharp mind with a soft-spoken demeanor. In Washington D.C., DeVos will be forced to put her beliefs to the test. DeVos has already won the trust of President Trump and the leaders of the GOP. Now, she will be forced to win the trust of American voters everywhere.


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