DeVos’s 2016 Campaign Donation Earned Her a Seat In Trump’s Cabinet
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos knew politics was her cup of tea early in her pampered life. Her dad, a successful Michigan automotive parts executive, and her Calvinistic faith gave her the tools to pursue any profession during her formative years. But politics was always front and center in her thinking process. When Dick DeVos asked Betsy Prince to be his bride, the couple cultivated their interest in politics and education reform in Michigan.
Republican candidate Dick DeVos ran for the Michigan governor’s seat in 2006, but he lost the race. That defeat fueled Betsy’s desire to make a difference in the conservative party. Being a Republican was part of the family’s belief system. Betsy and Dick DeVos, as well as other members of the DeVos family, donated millions to the Republican Party through the years. Dick’s father Richard was a co-founder of Amway, so money seemed to grow on trees around the DeVos estates.
During the 2016 campaign, Betsy and Dick jumped on the Trump bandwagon and donated $1 million in order to help send him to the White House. Mr. Trump didn’t know Betsy, but he liked her donation and her for-profit education plan. Betsy and Dick help start for-profit charter schools in Michigan, and Betsy wanted to take that education concept nationwide.
Betsy has no education credentials, but thanks to her deep pockets and dislike for public schools, Trump nominated her. Congress had a hard time confirming Betsy’s nomination. Most lawmakers didn’t want DeVos to shake up the education system. But thanks to Mike Pence’s tie-breaking congressional vote, DeVos became Trump’s education czar.
Betsy Won Trump’s Support Even Though Educators, Lawmakers, And Students Wanted To Dethrone Her
DeVos is one of Trump’s original cabinet members. She managed to survive thanks to her quest to topple the public education system and replace it with for-profit schools. Education officials and students complained about her lack of education experience, and Betsy’s quirky personality, but Trump continued to support her.
Betsy’s 60 Minutes interview proved Betsy didn’t have a clue about the internal gears that make the school system function. And her infrequent school visits usually turned into chaotic displays of student and school officials discontent over her questionable education decisions.
DeVos tried to defund the Special Olympics at Trump’s request, even though she donated a huge chunk of her salary to that organization. And she made it harder for college assault victims to go after perpetrators. She continued to force college students to pay educations loans even though the for-profit colleges they attended went broke. Congress continues to go after DeVos for hiring former for-profit personnel to help run the education department, but she still has Trump’s support.
Betsy Went Back To Michigan During The Pandemic But She Continues To Put Teachers And Students In Harm’s Way
When COVID-19 hit the U.S., DeVos went home to her sprawling estate on the shores of Lake Macatawa. She works remotely from her 22,000-square-foot-estate while she pushes to reopen schools, even though the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the country.
One education spokesperson said Betsy makes road trips and spends time in Washington during the pandemic. She also holds small events sponsored by the Federalist Society. She did attend a couple of charter school events to promote her voucher program. And she surfaced on July 23rd at an Ohio private Christian school. She also went to North Carolina with Mike Pence to attend two events there. But she ghosts public school events, even though her press office claims she’s in constant with school superintendents and governors. The School Superintendents Association, which represents superintendents in 49 states, claims Betsy’s been missing in action all this year.
But DeVos continues to demand the reopening of public schools despite the obvious threat from COVID-19. Her message to public schools is the same as Trump’s message― reopen or suffer the loss of federal funding.