Betsy Devos Fights for Educational Choice
The United States Education Secretary Betsy Devos has done countless interviews in her first year since taking office. It’s clear that she has some opponents, but none of that has stopped her from taking on interview after interview. She has defended her policies thoroughly on television and in private, explaining the key issues affecting her policies. For many, the main problem is school choice and whether or not it belongs in America’s schools.
Devos has faced some tough interviews, but the most widely spread interview was with her and Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes,” where she was asked about the success of her policies since taking office in February 2017. Devos has been controversial since taking office, but she believes that it’s mostly because critics don’t understand school choice. She also disagrees with the assumption that public funding will go towards private school vouchers.
For now, philanthropy is the main driving force behind school choice, and it always has been according to Betsy Devos. The former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party has been fighting for educational choice since the 1990s. She believes that it is the one way to help students out of failing school zones simply because of the zip code that they live under. She wants to see children getting into a curriculum that makes them excited for school.
As far as success, she hasn’t had the time as others have had. With only one year in office, she has been working with multiple states to reform their education systems. Her most successful programs have been in Florida and Louisiana. Florida has the most opportunities with multiple options for schooling and a state-based tuition program. While students have to apply for the grant, it’s helpful in paying for their tuition.
Devos would not be able to accomplish this without her own foundation, which has donated over $134 million the cause, as well as her donors. This includes Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton. With these donors at her back, she has been able to take on any critic and show them that public funding is not on the agenda for paying for scholarships.
However, there have been other issues that have faced Devos since taking office. As school shootings have increased, she was appointed to lead a school safety reform movement. This led to a variety of policy and security changes on school campuses across the country during the summer of 2018 in preparation for the new school year. While schools continue to develop policies around the security of their students, many were visited by advisors and strategists to ensure that they also had the best security protocols and evacuation plans.
Devos has another two years to work on these policies. It will be interesting to see how she is able to get more states on board with school choice by the end of her term.
For updates, follow Betsy DeVos on twitter.