PoliticsPresidential Election


Trump Taps School-Choice Advocate Betsy DeVos For Education Secretary

Betsy DeVos has spent most of her professional life working on school-choice advocacy and education reform.
Posted at 7:12 PM, Nov 23, 2016

Betsy DeVos is one of President-elect Donald Trump's latest appointments. Trump tapped her to be secretary of education — an area she's spent her entire professional life working to reform. 

DeVos comes from a wealthy Republican family in Michigan and is a long-time advocate for charter schools and voucher programs, which allow low-income families to send their children to private schools. 

SEE MORE: Even The US Is Expected To Miss The UN's Education Goals

With the financial and political support of her family, DeVos founded several school-choice advocacy groups, including the American Federation for Children, where she currently acts as chairwoman. 

"Our work, our effort, is revolutionary. ... It's about a transfer of power from the system to the parent and child," DeVos said at the 2015 American Federation for Children Summit. 

Supporters champion school-choice programs as a free-market solution to failing public schools, giving parents more options on where their children go to school.

"The reality is, we have been stuck in a factory model of education for 150 years. We're not a factory model of society anymore," DeVos said. 

Charter-school opponents say voucher programs only weaken the public school system and take resources away from schools that need it most.