We are living in, perhaps, the most partisan times in modern political memory. If you were to discount the Civil War, the United States has probably never been as divided as it is today. The election campaigns of Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton served to split American voters into two staunch camps and support across the aisle, at this point in time, seems all but impossible. It is in this climate that Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education in President Trump’s Cabinet, seeks to bridge the divide over a common goal: public education reform.
Betsy DeVos was born and raised in Holland, MI. She grew up with the importance of faith and family echoing through her head and she was taught from a young age that she was destined to be a reformer, someone who brought change into the world that was as important as it was good for everyone. Betsy DeVos took these ideas to heart and she would hold tight to them as she grew up.
For over thirty years now, Betsy DeVos has been working tirelessly and out of her own pocket in order to support education reform on a national level. Glomming onto the writings of Milton Friedman, Betsy DeVos has become voice #1 in the world of school choice support. School choice is a subject that Milton Friedman helped to make popular more than 50 years ago but Betsy DeVos’s support and corresponding public campaign to spread the concept has made her the iconic face behind the idea.
School choice seeks to level the educational playing field by taking federal tax dollars and using them to support private institutions, charter schools and voucher programs across the nation. Betsy DeVos, like many prominent conservatives, believes that parents should not be forced to funnel their children into the public school system if that is not what is right for them. Pushing that concept more, DeVos and other conservatives don’t believe that parents should have to pay into education-related taxes for a system that they are not getting any benefit from.
Despite the level-headed nature of Betsy DeVos’s argument, the political climate of 2018 is far too divisive for anything to be easy. So rather than approach education reform with a bi-partisan effort, Betsy DeVos has to showcase her iron will and her ability to go toe-to-toe with the political dinosaurs and insiders of Washington D.C. With any luck, DeVos will succeed.
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