In response to the move made by President Trump to rescind the federal policy that allows the use of school bathrooms by transgendered students that match their gender identities, Betsy DeVos met with members of the Education Department and gave her opinion that these guidelines set by former President Barack Obama were examples of the “administration’s overreach.”
Her reputation within Michigan politics has set DeVos as a political fighter in the minds of many, despite her having started in the political ring with little experience. Many who have worked alongside her or have crossed paths with DeVos cite her as being tenacious and eager to get her way, all while presenting the front of being “personable” and “plain-spoken” in conversation.
DeVos’s recent relocation to Washington came in the wake of little experience inside government and little history with the current president. While there, she has taken over the Education Department. In the past, DeVos has been an advocate of charter schools and school vouchers, historically having fought to direct tax dollars away from public schools, instead gearing them towards charter schools. She has also been known to favor tuition-reimbursement at private schools, including religious schools.
DeVos’s history in the education ring has shown her in support of schools that are run by for-profit companies and her experience has shown her to oppose the traditional forms of performance standards within these schools as well.
Since her relocation to Washington, she has been in the public eye due to her unsatisfactory answers during Senate confirmation hearings, however she was confirmed thanks to the tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. In her new role, her first major act was to reach out to the heads of two major teachers’ unions.
The Betsy DeVos that many in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she previously resided, sits in stark contrast with the Betsy DeVos many have seen in the wake of her becoming a Trump official. Previously, the politician had been seen as generous, however now she is being heralded as “tone deaf” and “unprepared” in this new role she has undertaken.
Betsy DeVos is married to Dick DeVos, an unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate in Michigan and member of the family who co-founded Amway. The two have been known for their contributions to conservative religious and political causes in the past.
While their names have been associated with political support and donations for years, the couple has also made numerous generous donations to various charities over the years as well. Many records of these various donations can be seen on the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation website, however Forbes has placed the lifetime giving and donation of the extended DeVos family around $1.33 billion, which is estimated to be around a quarter of their family fortune.
With a history of support for educational reform and various other educational movements and institutions, it should come as little surprise that Betsy DeVos has now set her sights on education at the national level by taking on this new position. Learn more: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/01/dick_and_betsy_devos_lift_the.html