Betsy DeVos is more than just a politician, but rather a visionary that aims to change the education system in the United States. She is an advocate of “pro-choice” when it comes to a parent’s involvement in their child’s education.
High-class schools are locked into high-class zip codes, which means that poor students are stuck with abysmal education. Low-income parents are so desperate to find quality education for their kids that many end up paying for expensive private schools. DeVos cannot get the public education system to budge from zip code superiority, but she has made reforms that give the students financial incentives to use private schools. Check her website for more info at betsyDeVos.com
Milton Friedman and his book “The Role of Government in Education” has been an inspiration on her stance on public education. The idea of zip codes dictating which school a child can attend is still an old form of racial segregation that still is alive today. Just 25 years after the publication of this book, Wisconsin offered its first private school voucher program.
Just as Betsy Devos has expressed in her interview with Philanthropy Round Table, she is proud of that fact that she has helped her country fund 250,000 students get into private schools with publicly funded vouchers. Since 2012, private school voucher programs have expanded to states like Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Mississippi, and New Hampshire with the total now adding up to 17 states.
As some may not expect, private schools are trending amongst those who are racial minorities and especially Latinos. Those that come from other cultures may especially be aware that public schools in the United States are failing institutions. Vouchers, tax credits and savings programs are helping these families access education that is on par with international standards for free or at little cost to them.
One of the events that had triggered Betsy into believing how broken the system was her experience with the parents of Potter’s House Christian School. She noticed how it was a safe haven for very low-income families to allow discussion of alternatives that the government was providing. Seeing these amazing and brave people had given Betsy the drive to provide economic support to exceptional children so that they can have a fulfilling educational experience that will transfer over into higher education. Visit Betsy’s profile on Twitter.
Betsy is also currently engaged in other sorts of philanthropy efforts on the side. She is one of the board members for Neurocore, which is an alternative medicine program that develops biofeedback treatments for mental illnesses. She is a part of the Acton Institute, which promotes education that is Christian and right-wing friendly. She had also served as one of the Board of Directors for the Kennedy Center, which organizes programs for theater, dance, and ballet.