Betsy DeVos has been traveling the country for the past two years, answering questions, and working with state legislators to implement educational choice programs. However, it is a choice that many are choosing not to take. DeVos said in a recent interview with “60 Minutes” with Leslie Stahl that she believed most people don’t understand educational choice. Otherwise, she doesn’t believe that they would be able to say no to it.
So what is educational choice?
DeVos has been campaigning for the option for students to pick where they go to school. This has led to many questioning how students are able to pick private or charter schools and enroll unless they have funds to do so. This has led to the discussion of private school vouchers or tuition-based funding to send students to private schools instead of public schools. However, many don’t realize that there are multiple options with educational choice, and it’s not all about public school funding being lost. It’s about giving students a choice to not go to a school where they would be forced to have a sub-par education.
While many have questioned her own background in education, Betsy DeVos has one of the most well-rounded backgrounds in education. Her mother was a public school teacher, and she attended and graduated from Calvin College only to go directly into politics in education reform. She has been in education reform for all of her political career, and she has been doing a lot to support teachers who also support students.
While many are not sure about her politics, they have been criticizing DeVos for using public funding to support charter schools, which isn’t the case. Much of the funding has come from private donors and philanthropy. In fact, the educational choice campaign is supported by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gate, and Sam Walton, as well as DeVos’ own foundation. The DeVos Family Foundation has donated over $134 million to community projects, particularly in Michigan.
Betsy DeVos is a polarizing figure in American politics. She has been tasked with a lot in her first two years of office but says that she has seen some success in Florida. To date, Florida has the most educational choice programs as well as tuition-based scholarship program that allows students to get into the schools of their choice.
President Trump has recently put DeVos in charge of other matters. School safety has become a major problem in the US. DeVos will now be working with legislators and hearing from different school districts to understand the impact of gun violence, and what they can do about it from a law perspective. She answered questions about the new policies in a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” in which she said that it was unlikely that teachers would need guns. She wants to work on solutions that continue to make schools a safe zone for children.
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