Best known for being the Secretary of Education under the Trump administration, Betsy DeVos has been politically active for decades. DeVos is a staunch supporter of the concept of educational choice– advocating for school vouchers that enable underprivileged students to go to the school of their choosing.
Oftentimes, this involves charter schools. Essentially speaking, these are public schools that are taxpayer funded, yet privately run. There are currently thousands and thousands of charter schools within the United States.
Critics of this approach argue that it takes away from the much-needed funds allocated to the public school system. DeVos, however, sees it differently. Recognizing the financial privilege she and her husband, Dick, had to send their children to the best private schools, she felt families everywhere should be able to access such an opportunity- regardless of socioeconomic status.
DeVos views the rapid proliferation of charter schools to be an educational success. While heavily involved with the Republican party, she served on the boards of American Education Reform Council and Children First America back in the 1990’s and recognized her calling. Such organizations, supportive of vouchers and tax credits, laid the foundation for her philosophy of educational choice.
In April 2017, DeVos appeared with the popular rapper, Pitbull, in Miami. Some might find this pairing unlikely, yet the global superstar opened several charter schools in the area. Despite his personal struggles and risque lyrics, the celebrity is an advocate for charter schools and shares much of DeVos’ mission.
When asked to summarize her dream, DeVos stated the following: “That all parents, regardless of their zip code, have had the opportunity to choose the best educational setting for their children. And that all students have had the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential.”
What are your thoughts on educational choice and charter schools? We encourage respectful dialogue in the comments section.