Betsy DeVos, a prominent school choice advocate and GOP supporter, is under consideration by president-elect Donald Trump to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education, according to news reports.Several news organizations, including the Washington Post and Politico, have said DeVos is among a handful of people under consideration for the position.
And in the event you're wondering about who she is and what she stands for:
DeVos, whose husband Dick unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2006, is a renowned advocate -- both in Michigan and nationally -- for school choice and charter schools. She serves on the board of the Michigan-based Great Lakes Education Project and the Washington D.C.-based American Federation for Children -- each of which works to expand educational options for children.Trump, for his part, pushed for greater school choice on the campaign trail, including a proposal to pump $20 billion into expanding options for low-income students.
AndDeVos, a former chair of the Michigan Republican Party, previously expressed reservations about Trump. At the Republican National Convention in July she cast her vote as an at-large delegate for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and said she was still hoping to "hear something from our nominee to convince me that I should support him."
DeVos and her husband led a failed effort to amend the Michigan constitution to provide vouchers that would allow students to attend private schools at public expense. That's a centerpiece of Trump's education plan. He would invest $20 billion in federal money toward school choice, and expect states to kick in $110 billion of their own money, to provide $12,000 each in school choice funds to the 11 million school-age children living in poverty.
The $20 billion wouldn't be new money, but would instead be the result of re-prioritizing existing federal money.
Given the list of organizations she serves as a board member of, she'd be a shoe in for a New York socialite.
- Chairman, All Children Matter
- Chairman, Michigan Republican Party, 2003 2005
- Member, MI Executive Committee, Bush Cheney '04
- Member, Trust Fund Board, Library of Congress 2003
- Member, Leadership Team, W Stands for Women, Bush Cheney '04
- Chairman, Great Lakes Education Project PAC, 2001-2002
- Chairman, Choices for Children, 2001-2002
- National Finance Chairman, National Republican Senatorial Committee
- Chairman, Michigan Republican State Committee, 1996-2000
- Republican National Committeewoman Michigan, 1992-1997
- Chairman, Spence Abraham for U.S. Senate Committee,1994
- Member, Board of Trustees, American Council of Young Political Leaders
- RNC Budget Committee, 1992
- Delegate, Republican National Convention, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000
- Alternate Delegate, Republican National Convention, 1984
- Chairman, Fifth District Republican Committee, 1989-1992
- Chairman, Kent County Republican Committee, 1984-1988
- Co Chairman, Kent County Republican Finance Committee, 1983-1984
- Delegate/Alternate Delegate, Michigan Republican State Conventions
- Vice Chairman, Bush/Quayle State Steering Committee, 1992
- John Engler for Governor Committee, 1990
- Co Chairman, Bill Schuette for U.S. Senate Committee, 1990
- Co Chairman, Michigan Republican State Committee Lake Michigan Barbecue, 1988—1991
- Co Chairman, Kent County Bush/Quayle Campaign, 1988
- Delegate to China, American Council of Young Political Leaders, 1988
- Volunteer, "ScatterBlitzer" Ford for President, Kent County Republican Committee, 1976
- Member, Board of Directors, Alliance for School Choice
- Member, Board of Trustees, Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
- Member, Board of Directors, Children First America 2004
- Member, Board of Directors, American Education Reform Council, 2002
- Member, Board of Directors, Kids Hope USA
- Ministry Leadership Team, Kids Hope USA 2005
- Member, Board of Directors, Compass Arts
- Member, Board of Directors, Education Freedom Fund
- Member, Board of Directors, Acton Institute
- Co chairman, "Heartbeat" fundraiser for the American Heart Association, 1995-2002
- Member, Board of Directors, Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Executive Committee
- Member, Board of Trustees, Blodgett Memorial Medical Center, 1986-1997
- Member, Board of Directors, Grand Rapids Economic Club, 1993-1998
- President's Advisory Council, Calvin College, 1993-1995
- Member, Advisory Board, The Potter's House School
- Member, Board of Trustees, Ada Christian School, 1992-1995
- Grand Rapids Christian School Association Capital Fund Drive, 1990-1993
- Member, Michigan International Year of the Family Council, 1994
- Member, Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Governor Engler Appointee, 1991-1992
- Chairman, Ada Christian School Education Foundation 1991-1992
- Member, Board of Trustees, Kendall College of Art &Design, 1986-1992
- Member, Board of Trustees, Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids, 1990-1992
- Member, Board of Trustees, Grand Rapids Area Medical Education Committee, 1990-1991
- Member, Board of Trustees, Worldwide Christian Schools, 1988-1991
The one pattern emerging from all of the names that have passed through media, the pattern of vouchers, school choice and a large investment for a federal initiative supporting the two seems to be emerging. My guess is that the rumors that Trump is going to destroy the USDOE are probably not true. It looks, very much, like he's seeking out a pick who will actively push through vouchers and charters on a national level.