In 1958, Elisabeth was born into the wealthy Prince family. Her family long held conservative political views. Her name changed from Elisabeth Prince to DeVos after her marriage to Amway heir Dick DeVos. The couple went on to parent four children and continued work on their political and business endeavors, working to find solutions to social issues through innovation. For over 30 years, Betsy has participated in politics, beginning with her days at Calvin College. There she gained an interest in campus politics. She has worked tirelessly for the advancement of education reform. Overtime, she has made efforts to expand the charter school system. DeVos has also been an advocate for the use of vouchers, which allows for public funding for private and religious based school education. In addition to education, Mrs. DeVos has prominent roles on local board committees, helps to foster advancements in technology and is the current chairman of her family’s foundation. She was recently interviewed by Philanthrophy regarding her work on school choice and educational reform.
When asked about how she felt about the current progress of school choice, DeVos expressed optimism about the accelerated growth of the program. There are a quarter of a million students, from 17 out of 50 states, that participate in 33 private school choice programs. In 2012, new programs were added from states like Pennsylvania and Mississippi. Recent polling showed the popularity of educational choice. Mrs. DeVos also explained how people are paying more attention to how public schools are no longer as successful. She discusses how vouchers and educational tax credits can greatly benefit students seeking a better route for their education.
Philanthrophy also inquired about what sparked Betsy’s interest in educational reform. She explained how it was a culmination of multiple experiences. She noticed how parents worked tirelessly and made financial sacrifices to send their children to schools that fostered safe, learning, loving and challenging environments. Mrs. DeVos understood how many parents did not have the same resources as she did to make the best school choice decision for their children. This led to her and her family supporting students at Potter’s House Christian School, helping to start scholarships for low income families. In turn this helped her to see the bigger picture of education reform for all students. Learn more: http://www.betsydevos.com/policy-involvement/
Using her political platform, Mrs. DeVos has worked tirelessly so that all students can know they matter. She has had both successes and failures during this quest. One major success happened in Florida where the Tax Credit Scholarship Program is offered to students. Over 50,000 students in Florida have the option to attend a school that their family is able to choose. DeVos wishes for both Democrats and Republicans to work together to do what is right for the nations children, and says that education needs to be non-partisan.
She has also discussed how there are certain education reform strategies that seems promising for students. Digital and blended learning is being implemented in the majority of schools. Parents are also opting for homeschooling and charter schools as a way to take more charge over their kids academically rigorous educations. Whatever Mrs. DeVos does, she works hard, spending her time to offer methods to help improve the American Education System. She firmly believes that each and every parent should have every opportunity available. This will help their children achieve their full potential by being better able to choose the best equipped education setting.