Philanthropy

Betsy DeVos has been making her case for school choice loud and clear.

Betsy DeVos is a polarizing figure for some, and even those from her hometown of Grand Rapid say they aren’t quite sure what to make of her these days. To many in Grand Rapids, DeVos is a likable, generous philanthropist who is sincerely devoted to her cause. Others, however, feel that she’s much too insulated to relate to the common American.

 

DeVos found her husband, Richard DeVos, quite young, and she quickly grew accustomed to a lavish lifestyle when Richard hit it big as the co-founder of Amway. However, politics wasn’t as kind to Richard as the business world was. He had a failed run for governor in Michigan and came to be known as a bit of an obnoxious showoff among his friends.

 

Over the years, Besty and her husband have remained steadfast in their belief that a strong education system is the bedrock of a strong country. In addition, Richard and Betsy have given generously to religious organizations and the Republican party. Betsy’s time as an undergraduate at Calvin College exposed her to a variety of Calvinist teachings, and it’s safe to say that her background has shaped her stance on charter schools.

 

She’s pushed for more school choice, but critics see her methods as antithetical to some parts of the United States Constitution. Specifically, her detractors are worried that Betsy DeVos doesn’t take the separation of church and state as seriously as she should. Some, such as Professor Thomas Pedoroni at Wayne State University, believe DeVos has had an overall negative on public education in her home state.

 

In summary, Betsy DeVos is arguably every bit as polarizing as the man who appointed her to her cabinet position. What’s not clear, however, is whether she has America’s best interest at heart.

 

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