Blindly adhering to the status quo is not something for which Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is known. Instead, she chooses to use her position as a pillar of strength for the community. She knows that there are people who will listen to what she says and she wants to help people who feel as though they have no voice. Her work in education has sought to change the lives of some the most vulnerable members of the community, children. Children change the way that a society develops. Their level of education will steer the future of their country. Betsy DeVos understands that much of the time that is devoted towards the education process has been lackluster in recent years. She wants students to receive an entirely different level of education. She has pushed for the advocacy of the “school choice” movement among parents who are feeling frustrated with the public school system. These parents do have a choice and Betsy DeVos is going to make sure that they understand the implications of that choice.
Her interview with Philanthropy Roundtable is a great start for anyone who wants to understand why Betsy DeVos is so devoted to the notion of “school choice”. In fact, “school choice” has been the subject of much of Betsy DeVos’s career. She believes that it is a cornerstone of society. When it comes to education parents have choices and many of them fall within the private sector of education. When thinking about the private sector of education this would detail charter schools, private schools, specialized institutions, and virtual schools or homeschooling. All these options allow parents to take an active role in their children’s education.
The first thing that she wants parents to understand is that these institutions are more prevalent than they believe they are. Most communities have a form of alternative education for the students there. She has also put in significant works to advocate for scholarship programs but she wants parents to notice that many of these institutions may offer scholarship programs to students that have proven their desire to attend. Parents should not feel turned away from an institution before they even attempt to enroll their children.
Additionally, Betsy DeVos wants parents to understand that charter schools offer an alternative type of education that is sometimes featured at a public school price. These schools offer an opportunity to enroll their children in a different type of learning environment. Religious academies are also an option for those parents that feel as though their children would benefit from that type of structure in their environment. Regardless of where parents decide to enroll their children, Betsy DeVos wants him to understand that they have the choice to do so. Instead of remaining frustrated with the public school system they should start exploring their options. If the public school system feels challenged in their student-based then they will look into ways to retain those students. Betsy DeVos warns that an overhaul of the system could take years but children are suffering in their education now. “School choice” is available to every parent in every state.
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Betsy Devos is an American woman with a heart of steel. Despite the opposition she has faced since she became the secretary of education of the United States, she is still committed to changing the education system. For instance, she recently opposed her boss, Donald Trump, when he suggested the abolition of the bathroom bill. Other that being the secretary of education, Betsy Devos is a family woman as she is currently married to Dick Devos. They have been together for the last 28 years and they have achieved a lot especially in philanthropy. They have formed a formidable partnership by launching the Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation that channels its money to various causes. The two are the 24th most generous people in the United States. Recent reports obtained from the Information Revenue Service showed that they had donated over $189 million to philanthropy. Collectively, their families have made donations worth quarter of their wealth. Betsy Devos comes from a family with a history of giving. For instance, his father, Edgar Prince, is a notable philanthropist from Holland who is also an industrialist. Dick Devos is the son of Richard Devos, the owner of Amway Group Corporation and Orlando Magic. His dad has an estimated wealth of $6 billion. Check her website for more info at betsydevos.com
As for Betsy Devos, she focuses her donations to education. In the year 2015 alone, she made donations of over $15 million. Out of this, five million went to political donations while the rest was absorbed by other donations. It was revealed that 26 percent of her donation went to education. This explains her dedication to changing the American education. Her funds are usually channeled to high schools, colleges, universities and even religious institutions. While there are many institutions that have benefited from her donations, they include Rehoboth Christian School, Potter’s House found in Wyoming as well as Northwood University. Other institutions that have benefited from the donations of Betsy Devos and Dick Devos include Compass College of Cinematic Arts, Detroit Charter School and Ferris State University.
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Despite being accused of focusing on some areas, Betsy Devos has also committed her money to other areas such as arts and human health. The report from the IRS revealed that five percent of her donations go to health and human services, four percent goes to churches while 12 percent goes to public policy. Leadership and development take 13 percent of her donations while community and civic duties take 16 percent. In all her philanthropic efforts, Betsy Devos is known to involve her children in a move that is seen as deliberate. When asked about her philanthropic efforts, Betsy Devos refused to comment on many issues. Despite the heat she is currently taking as the secretary of education, Betsy Devos feels that she can achieve more.
End Citizen United is a Political Action Committee, PAC, founded in March but launched officially in August 2015. The principle objective of the PAC is to reverse the decision made by the Supreme Court in 2010 that allowed corporate bodies and unions to support political candidates. The ruling led to the formation of super PACs and created a pathway for dark money into the political arena. Within three months of its formation, more than 325,000 people had signed in support of the PAC’s petition to have the ruling amended.
Unlike other similar political action committees that agitate for reforms in political campaign financing, End Citizen United has focused on doing more than talk. It is working towards electing to the congress persons who have indicated support for these reforms as well as victims of the Super PACs. Though the US has never passed any amendment in the last 25 years, the pro-reform group believes that continuing its fight for campaign reforms will put enough political pressure on the Supreme Court and legislators to reconsider the decision.
The PAC received a significant backing during the first election it took part in, the 2016 cycle. It raised $25 million from its small-dollar donors to become the third largest spender in the election. It used the finances to support and elect fifteen new members to the Congress. Similarly, the members of the PAC aided the election of Jon Ossof in the April 18th, 2017 Georgia’s special election. End Citizen United raised more than $900,000 to support Ossof’s election.
Early this year the End Citizen United group began a series of fundraisings to prepare for the coming election in 2018. The president and director of the political action committee said that since the campaign began more than 40,000 people have donated for the first time. The turn up indicates that more people have realized the ill effects of the current regulations on campaign financing and are joining in the fight against big money in politics. The momentum may also be the Democrats’ way of fighting back having been infuriated by Trump’s win. End Citizen United has planned to raise $ 35 million dollars. By the end, March 2017 it had already raised more than $4 million.
Even though the End Citizen United has defended mostly Democrats in the past elections, they are willing to support any person who champions for reforms in the political campaign system. For example, they recently join hands together with two dozen groups in appealing to the Republican senators to vote against Betsy Devos as Trump’s Education Secretary. The wealthy American had financially supported some of the politicians in their campaign. The senators’ voting ended in a tie which vice president Pence broke in Devos’ favor.