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Education

Dick DeVos

Dick and Betsey DeVos have spent decades trying to change Michigan institutions and policies, particularly in the areas of business, education and labor.

 

For example, when the idea of building a new sports arena north of Grand Rapids was proposed in 1991, Dick DeVos began a campaign to have it built in the city’s downtown area instead. His determination led to the creation of Grand Action, a group of mid-Michigan business moguls who eventually oversaw the construction of Van Andel Arena, the Grand Rapids City Market, the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and the DeVos Place Convention Center. These buildings are credited with halting urban sprawl in the area and making Grand Rapids a true destination city.

 

Meanwhile, Betsy DeVos spent years pushing for the expansion of charter schools in Michigan and across the nation. One of those charter schools is the West Michigan Aviation Academy, which was founded by Dick DeVos in 2010. The nonprofit school seeks to educate flyers from all economic backgrounds, and it has grown from 80 students to 600 students since its opening.

 

While the DeVoses, who are both heirs to vast family fortunes, tried and failed to add tax-funded private school vouchers to Michigan’s constitution in 2000, the power couple has successfully advocated for the allowance of vouchers in 24 other states and the District of Columbia.

 

In the area of labor, Dick DeVos engineered the creation and passage of Michigan’s 2012 right-to-work bill, which gave workers the right to decline union membership. This was an astounding feat, considering that the state is known as the birthplace of America’s organized labor movement.

 

When Dick and Betsy DeVos are not busy influencing business and politics, the Republican mega-donors are devoting their time to philanthropy. Their charity organization, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, supports a variety of causes, including health programs, arts and culture institutions, churches, leadership programs, education reform policy initiatives and private school scholarships. In fact, the charity reportedly gave away $138.7 million to these causes between 1989 and 2015.

 

The DeVoses also donated $12.6 million toward the construction of Spectrum Health System’s new pediatric medical center in Grand Rapids in 2006. The center was named the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital after Dick’s mother.

 

Betsy DeVos is currently the head of the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. According to President Trump, one of the top reasons he selected her for the position was her impressive background in charter school advocacy.

 

Dick DeVos, the former president of Amway, is currently the CEO of the Windquest Group, an investment management firm based in Grand Rapids. A longtime pilot, he also serves on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council.

 

Visit http://dickdevos.com/news/ to learn more.

Betsy DeVos Shows Herself as Capable Secretary of Education

Betsy DeVos was nominated and confirmed by the Senate after President Trump took office following a historic election campaign in 2016. DeVos was brought on board to operate as the Secretary of Education and the public leader of the Department of Education. DeVos, a prominent Republican from Michigan, has been a leader in the conservative education reform movement for the better part of the past two decades. DeVos was brought in despite some public outcry from members of both sides of the aisle but after a year in office, she is already beginning to prove her doubters wrong. Let’s take a close look at the path that DeVos took to the White House and what she plans to do while in office.

 

The goal of Betsy DeVos in the realm of education has always revolved around bringing about the concept of school choice. School choice, for those not aware, is the idea that private and public schools should be treated the same in terms of government funding — regardless of their religious or political perspective. DeVos specifically believes in the power of private education and she is going to be aiming to boost private education by pushing more money into conservative and Christian schools, like the Potter’s House which is located in Michigan. DeVos has personally invested thousands of hours of her time over the years, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars, to help prop the Potter’s House Christian School as an icon of the school choice movement.

 

Despite her conservative goals for equality, DeVos knows that she will likely be fighting against opposition from members of the public and the left wing of the political spectrum. With that being said, DeVos can’t allow herself to be intimidating and thus far she has done anything but back down. DeVos has shown herself as willing to meet members of the public and either side of the political aisle and thus far she has done an incredible job of allaying potential concerns. This doesn’t mean that her job is going to get any easier and, in reality, it probably will actually get more and more difficult.

 

When Betsy DeVos was announced as the Secretary of Education, there was a rumbling throughout Washington D.C. that she would not be able to contend with the rigors that many members of both sides of the political spectrum had warned against. Namely, DeVos was expected to struggle to compete in a meeting-style environment with some of the political veterans in Washington D.C. This has been quickly settled, however, as DeVos has shown herself to be more than just a knowledgeable conservative, but also a fighter as well. DeVos has already been endorsed by Mike Cox, a former Attorney General for the Republican party, and his endorsement is likely just the beginning. Cox called her an intimidating presence who was willing to go toe to toe and eye to eye with anyone that she has to in order to push forward the conservative agenda for education reform.

 

Visit http://www.betsydevos.com/ to learn more.

Betsy DeVos and Family Donate Yearly To A Variety of Foundations and Organizations

Each year contributions made to organizations are made by various organizations and foundations who hope to change other’s lives by donating to a good cause. Betsy DeVos and the Family Foundation is one of those foundations who strive to help other organizations each year.

 

Betsy DeVos was nominated by President Trump during his 2016 Presidential Election as the Secretary of Education for the United States. Betsy DeVos holds her stance for support inside of school systems by supporting the school voucher program, school choice and placing funding into charter schools. While serving on the Republic National Committee from 92-97, Betsy sat on the Michigan Republic Party for over 4 years. She was then reelected to the position in 2003.

 

Advocating for charter schools in Detroit and a member of the Foundation for Excellence board, Betsy has helped to make charter schools better for students. She has also served as a board member for the Alliance for School Choice and the Action Institute.

 

Betsy DeVos married the former CEO of Amway, the multi-level marketing company, Dick DeVos. The daughter in law of billionaire Richard DeVos and sister to a ex Navy Seal, Erik Prince. Her brother is the founder of a business, Blackwater USA. Their parents are the founders of Prince Corporation and father, Edgar Prince. This family had been listed as the 88th most wealthiest families within the United States with a net worth of over $5 billion dollars.

 

During her nomination to the Secretary of Education position, Betsy was faced with a party line vote to win her position. The tie breaker vote was then placed into the hands of Vice President Mike Pence. He made the tie breaking decision and was the first time that a Vice President took position as the tie breaker.

 

Betsy and her husband have been actively advocating for the charter schools in Detroit. They are members of the foundation of Excellence in Education’s board. She has also sat on the board for Alliance of School Choice and the Action Institute as well as to All Children Matter.

 

 

Betsy and husband, Rick DeVos donate through charitable contributions each year to groups that participate in leadership abilities, guidance with the intention to assist in supporting individuals as well as focusing on the background in education and community work. During the year 2015, the family donated over $11 million dollars in donations for charitable giving and they have donated over $100 million dollars in the lifetime of the foundation. Listed as number 24 of Givers by Forbes Magazine, the family was listed in 2015.

 

Each year the family foundation offers donations to other organizations that include focus on education, giving to the community, support to individuals, leadership support roles and to those individuals who showcase the right mentality to support others within this background. Specific groups that Betsy DeVos has donated to include the Michigan Pregnancy Resource Center, the Right to Life Organization and the Michigan Foundation for Traditional Values.

 

To learn more, visit http://www.betsydevos.com/.