Betsy DeVos and The Role of School Choice in American Politics

The 2016 Presidential Election is going to go down in history for a variety of different reasons. Most of all, the election showcased that there is a need for real change within the political climate of the United States of America. President Trump, then just Nominee Trump, tapped into the desire for change that was running throughout America’s largest voting blocks and he rode that wave into the White House. Along the way, President Trump promised to render change at the highest levels of the government in order to ‘drain the swamp’ and bring the focus back to the American people. In order to do this, President Trump put together a cabinet filled with political outsiders that were determined to upset the status quo and change how things were run. The most important of his cabinet additions is Betsy DeVos, the new Secretary of Education for the Department of Education.

 

Betsy DeVos comes to Washington D.C. by a winding path that started in the heartland of America. Betsy DeVos was born and raised in Holland, MI before she moved away from home in order to pursue her higher education. Born to the wealthy Prince family, owners of the Amway fortune, Betsy DeVos had every reason to take it easy throughout her life. Instead, Betsy DeVos doubled down on the things that mattered to her. She went to Calvin College and learned the true cost of education. She studied the works of Milton Friedman, notably his writing titled ‘The Role of government in Education”, and she has gone on to spend the past thirty years trying to spread education reform.

 

What Betsy DeVos has done for the conservative education movement is almost hard to quantify. While conservatives feel strongly about education, the party itself never really had a direction to push that belief until DeVos started working hard to spread the word of school choice. DeVos has championed school choice for over thirty years now and she has put in both money and physical effort in order to help propel it into the mainstream. School choice rests on the idea of fundamentally equalizing the playing field between secular and non-secular schools. DeVos believes in school choice as well as the voucher system and in doing so she is giving conservatives something to rally around.

 

Coming into a high-profile presidential administration isn’t easy in even the calmest of circumstances and so Betsy DeVos will have to work hard to establish herself as someone worth her position. DeVos work as a private citizen shows well that she is capable of making a difference in politics and now she’ll have to do even more as a public servant. DeVos has to be able to reach across the political aisle in order to work alongside both liberals and conservatives in order to try and bring President Trump’s vision to reality. While Betsy DeVos has limited experience in government, she has already proven herself to be capable and adept at handling the work that is required of her.

 

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