Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a champion for freedom, choice and opportunity for all Americans. The former Elisabeth Prince has been active in politics from her days at Calvin College up to the present. Over the span of three decades, DeVos has spearheaded a plethora of party groups, political action committees and initiatives. In each endeavor, she has sought for keys to solving societal dilemmas.
Although Mrs. DeVos and her husband, Dick, have engaged in numerous successful business and political enterprises, she has exerted her most outstanding reform efforts through nonprofit work. Mrs. DeVos chairs the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation which has contributed to hospitals, schools, and the arts. She serves on a variety of local and national boards such as Kids Hope USA and the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center. As a prominent figure in the educational choice movement, the secretary heads the Alliance for School Choice and the American Federation for Children.
DeVos’s passion for educational choice sparked over 30 years ago when she and her husband visited a Grand Rapids, Michigan school that serves low-income families. Her generosity began with sponsoring a few children and grew into promoting the cause for choice across the nation. For DeVos, educational choice entails many facets which include tax credits, vouchers, education savings accounts, charter schools, magnet schools, digital learning, and home education. She maintains that true educational choice will be achieved only when it becomes a non-partisan or bipartisan concern.
As the U.S. Education Secretary, DeVos is using her platform to encourage freedoms in higher education as well. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, DeVos argued that college should be where new opinions and ideas are discovered and shared. However, as she observed, the nation is seeing “more and more examples on college campuses in recent years of shutting down free and open expression and debate around ideas.” In response to increasing censorship on university campuses, the secretary upheld the administration’s commitment to the free exchange of ideas and expression.
DeVos is clear on her intentions as she reflects on her ventures to improve opportunities for the next generation: “Every time I think about the work Dick and I do, it’s all part of a holistic effort to improve American education. Some of it is direct and local; some of it involves policy and has national reach. But the motivation behind all of our efforts is the same.” Ultimately, Betsy DeVos is determined to ensure that “all parents, regardless of their zip code, have had the opportunity to choose the best educational setting for their children. And that all students have had the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential.”