How Betsy Devos Spread the School Choice Movement Nationwide

Every year, the school choice movement continues to grow. More and more programs are being added in more and more states. A few dozen thousand students enroll in nonpublic schools every year. It is all thanks to Betsy Devos and others like her who work for education reform. Learn more:


According to Betsy Devos, this can be explained by the fact that many people are starting to realize that public schools may not be the best solution for all students. Not all public schools are succeeding. In fact, many of them are failing. People realize that and are more open to tax voucher programs and other programs that help out private and charter schools.


Betsy Devos, in an interview, explained that there was no single incident that caused her to join the school choice movement. She said that when it came time to send her own kids to school, she and her husband, Dick, realized that private schools are sometimes a better choice. They met many other parents who were struggling to keep their kids enrolled in a private school. That is when they realized that they had to do something about the issue.


Betsy Devos joined the school choice movement early on, before it became mainstream. In fact, she was one of the main proponents of this movement. Without her, it would not have gained the traction that it did, and the education landscape in the United States today would look nothing like it does.


Betsy got involved with a foundation that provided scholarships to kids who came from poor families that could not afford to send them to private schools. Meanwhile, Dick ran for the Michigan State Board of Education and was elected in 1990. However, Betsy realized that while scholarships were great, it did not address the issue on the large scale of things.


At that point, Betsy decided to get involved in the school choice movement on a national level. She sat on the board of a couple of charities that worked to help children who wanted to attend private schools. She and her husband Dick were involved in passing the first law in Michigan involving charter schools in 1993. In 2000, they even tried to change the State Constitution to allow tax credits and vouchers for private schools. Although they were not successful in that attempt, it drove them to start shifting their focus nationwide. They started campaigning for such programs in other states and were wildly successful. In fact, there are now such programs in almost half of all states in the United States. At the same time, Betsy started the Great Lakes Education project, which focuses on education reform in her home state of Michigan.


Betsy Devos is now the eleventh Secretary of Education, having been nominated to the position by President Donald Trump. However, she is no newcomer to politics. She served as the Chair of the Republican Party in Michigan for a number of years. She continues to lobby for education reform nationwide.