Betsy DeVos and Charter Schools
Betsy DeVos grew up in the small town of Holland, Michigan. As she grew up, she worked off and on at her father’s auto parts business. This work would be the beginning of a fantastic career for the current Secretary of Education.
She has always surrounded herself with successful and wealthy individuals. Her father, Edgar Prince, was a primary supporter of a variety of conservative Christian cause. Mr. Prince built his business from the ground up and turned it into a billion-dollar business.
Her brother, Erik D. Prince, was just as successful as her father. He created and became the chief executive of Blackwater, a private security firm. This firm is known as a controversial contractor for people who are American in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Even her husband, Dick DeVos, comes from a hugely successful and wealthy family also.
The DeVos family are the founders of Amway which is a prosperous multilevel marketing business. The only area Dick DeVos was not sufficient was when he ran for governor of Michigan in 2006.
All of the DeVos children attended private schools giving Betsy DeVos a noticeable lack of connections to the real world of public education. With her family’s wealth, she also has a lack of understanding of the issues average families face when trying to pay for education.
She has been a staunch ally of charter schools for three decades. She has continued to fight to push funding from public schools to charter schools. She also advocated for a voucher system to allow people to pay for tuition at a private school with public school funding.
Many people would say that charter schools undermine the public school system. These types of schools take funding and resources from public schools. However, others would say that charter schools give poor children choices. Some people would say that charter schools give public schools a healthy competition.
Ms. DeVos has taken things a step further by supporting schools run by for-profit companies. She also even opposed set standards for these types of schools. DeVos believes that giving parents the option to send their children to charter schools allows the free market to decide the fate of the schools.
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Because of DeVos’ firm belief and effects, Detroit has the largest grouping of charter schools in the United States. However, a variety of these schools do not perform well, and the supply of charter school tends to exceed the demand in various areas.