As a lifelong philanthropist, Betsy DeVos has donated to a large number of charities and nonprofits. Her favored types of charities are for education and the arts but she also donates to nonprofits that are dedicated to building leadership as well as churches and other causes. Additionally, she has spent time in leadership positions within the Republican party including serving as the Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for six years.
Educational reform is the largest cause that Betsy DeVos both donates money to as well as serving in leadership positions for a number of organizations that are dedicated to changing how the educational system works in the United States. Many public schools provide a very poor education to students, especially those where the majority of children come from families earning a low income. Betsy believes that the solution is charter schools that are operated by private companies. She thinks children receive a much better education in this environment and will thus achieve much more in their careers. In order to help parents pay for this, Betsy DeVos proposes tax reforms such as vouchers and tax credits as well as educational savings accounts which will be tax advantaged. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.
Two of the educational reform organizations that Betsy has served on the boards of are the American Education Reform Council and Children First America, both of which are national organizations. She has also championed educational reform in her home state of Michigan where she founded the Great Lakes Education Project. This nonprofit pushed for expanded charter schools in Michigan as well as legislation that would help to support that effort. Another educational organization she chaired was the American Federation for Children which also pushed for educational reform on a national basis.
Betsy DeVos points to Florida as one of her biggest achievements in educational reform. Today, through her efforts the state has a tax-credit scholarship program which helps parents pay to have their children attend the school of their choice. While several groups have opposed these reforms in support of public schools, Betsy and the school choice organizations in the state been able to protect the programs that were passed.
Betsy DeVos began serving as the U.S. Secretary of Education in February 2017. She has pledged to serve as an advocate of students and their parents in her support of providing more educational choices being made nationally available. Showing her longtime support of children she has pointed to the 15 years she spent as a mentor to at-risk children within the Grand Rapids Public Schools system. She thinks all children are entitled to a quality education that prepares them well for entry into the job market after graduating from high school and then college.