For some people, it’s a name that brings a roll of the eyes in disgust or a shudder of fear as they envision the total destruction of the school system, while others herald her as being a tremendous step in the right direction for education in the United States. In case you didn’t already know, her name is Betsy DeVos and she’s President Trump’s education secretary.
Surprising the Critics
When President Trump did a 180 on the federal policy that gave transgender students the option to use bathrooms that matched the gender they most associate with, many critics expected Betsy DeVos to stand behind him, clapping with glee. Surprisingly enough, the Republican who is known for her Christian values was there with an Education Department representative who stands for gay and transgender employees, giving him the heads-up about what was coming before Trump made the announcement.
Not Always On-Board with President Trump
Not only did Ms. DeVos step out to help the representative understand what was happening, but she had also opposed President Trump on the matter of rescinding the policy. Despite her disagreement, she did join President Trump with the announcement and went so far as to state that the guidelines about school restrooms were an overreach of the Obama administration’s power.
The Calm before the Storm
While Ms. DeVos eludes an air of meekness and calm, those who know her and have seen her in action warn that she is actually a very relentless fighter who works hard to get what she wants. In Michigan, Ms. DeVos, who used to be the state’s Republican Party chairwoman, instilled fear in her opponents because of her fierce determination to wield her power and do what she considered right.
Ms. DeVos has a lot of wielding power, too! As billionaires, she and her husband have made a tremendous impact on their state and their family owns multiple businesses throughout the area of Grand Rapids. On top of owning many stores, restaurants, and centers, the DeVos family also uses their funds to support fellow-Republicans. Her rich background and excess of money leads many of her critics to wonder if she will understand the needs of the common people and students who live below the poverty line. Despite her critics’ concern that she won’t understand the lifestyle of students and the struggles they face, Ms. DeVos has a history of reaching out to impoverished youth through her involvement of time and monetary donations to the Potter’s House school.
What Will She Do?
For the last thirty years, Ms. DeVos has worked hard to redirect tax dollars, moving them away from the public school system into the hands of other forms of education. While some people consider the expansion of funds for charter and private schools to be a major plus, others can only see it as a way to destroy the public education system. Only time will tell how Ms. DeVos changes the face of education and whether those changes will be for the benefit of the country.
Follow Betsy DeVos on twitter for updates.