Betsy DeVos: Making the System Work for Parents and Students

The amount of work necessary to overhaul the public-school system in the United States is overwhelming. The sheer manpower and resources alone would be insurmountable, but Betsy DeVos is willing to take on that role because she believes that the system is in a dire situation at this time. There’s so much that she wants to do to change the system, but one of the biggest things that she wants people to understand is that they have a choice. Instead of feeling walked into the public district that they are being served by, parents seem to understand that they have a choice. She explains to her interviewers over at Philanthropy that this is something that not all parents understand they have a choice in what comes to their children.


In fact, much of Betsy DeVos’s career has been dedicated to the notion of school choice because she has seen that many parents do not understand that they have one. People are socialized to believe that they must attend the school that is closest to them in their school district, but they do not understand that there are options available to them even at this time when there are substantial growth options in this area. She explained that there are a multitude of options and the growth in the school choice sector has been nothing short of miraculous in recent years. More than 250,000 new students entered the system in just the last two years, and that is only poised to increase every single year that these options have been available to the students. Parents are learning that there are better options available to them and they are immediately seeing the results when it comes to their children’s overall happiness with the process. There is a sense of empowerment that is unmatched in the public-school system.


Betsy DeVos understands the power of education. She is a college graduate herself, from Calvin College. She put her children through private schools all of their life and made sure that they understood how important getting an education was. She has even helped create programs that make private schools and other alternative education institutions possible for children of lower income statuses. While it is easy to say that many politicians are advocates for this level of change, Betsy DeVos has always been out in the trenches fighting for this type of education. She has even been an advocate for vouchers or tax breaks for parents who choose to enroll their children in alternative education programs. For many this makes sense because they are not using the public-school system and would not need to pay the taxes for that, it also makes it possible for them to enroll their students into these programs when they would not normally be able to do so. She is looking for ways to make this a viable option for all Americans so that the system will be something that works for both the parents and the students that are expected to learn from it.


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