Have you seen the latest news in Washington? For Betsy DeVos, the 11th US Secretary of Education, everything in education reform matters today. There is not a single education issue that DeVos hasn’t tackled since she’s been in office, and she continues to fight for educational choice despite opponents in public schools and state education lawmakers. She recently was interviewed on “60 Minutes” by Lesley Stahl in which she was asked if any of her programs have been successful.
Despite the problems since her appointment to the office, DeVos has stayed true to her platform. She has tried to get more educational choice options for every state, but she says that Florida and Louisiana have the most options now. When asked if educational choice is just a way to get public funding for private schools, DeVos says that people just don’t understand how it works.
So how does it work? DeVos has donated over $139 million to educational charities, and she has incredible donors who support the cause, such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton. With this philanthropy, she has been able to set up some incredible schools and scholarship options in these states. Others may come around by the end of her term, but she is still working towards getting other options in place for students who don’t want to go to the school where they are zoned.
It’s a tough call for Betsy DeVos since she has been ridiculed for not being a teacher, and yet she has devoted her life to education reform. They are two different paths, but they are tightly linked. DeVos’ mother worked as a public school teacher, and it was very clear to Betsy that she had to do something to help students who were stuck in a curriculum that didn’t really intrigue their interests. With the new educational choice options, there are a lot of ways that students can go to a new school.
For example, students don’t have to pick a private school when they opt for educational choice. They can decide they want to go to a magnet school, homeschooling program, virtual school, charter school, or private school. In places like Florida, students can also apply for a tuition-based scholarship. This helps them go to a private school if they decide that it’s what they want to do instead of the school where they are zoned.
To learn more, visit www.betsydevos.com.