Devos’ Educational Power Plays

Betsy Devos, the current administration’s education secretary, is a proponent of school choice. Though the idea of equal funding for private and public schools may not seem controversial, an in-depth look at the issue reveals conflicts between church and state and between the rich and the poor.

 

School choice advocates believe that all parents, regardless of income, have the right to choose a school that best suits their children’s needs and their own ideological preferences. In accordance with this belief, Devos and others advocate for publicly funded private charter schools. Parents can also opt for vouchers to cover the costs of private tuition at either secular or religious schools. Critics see these policies as a means to reduce funding for public schools and to potentially eliminate secular and equal education for all.

 

While this fight continues to play out in states, including Devos’ home state of Michigan where she flexed her wealth and political power to block legislation that challenged charter school autonomy, Devos is leading the charge for charters and vouchers at the national level.

 

On the national stage, Devos is navigating conflicting ideologies. A recent example can be seen in her reaction to the removal of transgender protections in public schools. Under the Obama administration, transgender students were granted the option to use the bathroom of the gender to which they identify. Under the current administration, the ruling was rescinded. Devos’ was not in support of rescinding the rule, however, once the decision was made she stood by the president.

 

Critics perceived her actions as an unwillingness to stand up for her convictions. Those who know Devos politically saw her actions as savvy. Devos may have limited experience in education administration, but she has been the Republican party chair of Michigan and has engaged in school reform policy since her undergraduate years at Calvin College in Western Michigan. Her understanding of political power plays is a strength that often goes unacknowledged. American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten met with Devos soon after the transgender ruling. She told the New York Times the secretary “comes across as personable, plain-spoken, but she is dangerous.”

 

Michigan-based Republican strategist Greg McNeilly told the Times that her decision to reach out to the left-leaning American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association underscores her political savvy. McNeilly called it “a smart move,” adding that Devos “knows how to play power politics.” Learn more: http://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/20170127/letter-in-support-of-betsy-devos-for-secretary-of-education

 

The Driving Force Behind Betsy DeVos and the School Choice Movement

Right now, the educational system of the United States is in a very delicate state. Although education is one of the most important and crucial departments to make a population grow alongside its country and flag, the school system is not favorable for all types of social and monetary condition. Those who have the power to afford private schools usually have the better education, and this system improves the disparity between poor and rich.

 

Thankfully, Elisabeth Dee DeVos, formerly known as Elisabeth Prince, is one of the many philanthropists who is aiming to change this reality forever.

 

Betsy DeVos, as she is popularly referred to, was born on January 8, 1958. She is currently the U.S. Secretary of Education, a role she earned for her many years fighting for the educational system reform and battling to raise the awareness of politicians when it came to the problem that many families are facing when having to find a suitable school for their kids.

 

She is, besides the philanthropist and activist that she is known for being, also an American businesswoman and a politician who always aimed to listen to every complaint on the educational system and pass them forward.

 

The Republican party that represents Betsy’s goals for the American education is the School Choice movement, which aims to make the school system available for all types of families in the U.S., and change the reality where private schools hold benefits over public schools in a way that they are much more appealing to families that can’t even afford them.

 

Besides her role in the Republican party, Betsy DeVos was also the committeewoman for Michigan for almost five years, and serves as Chairman of her Republican party when she was still advocating for the educational system. Nowadays, she remains as a member of the board of directors of the institution “Foundation for Excellence in Education,” which aims to fight for the same principles as the U.S. Secretary of Education.

 

Betsy DeVos is married to Richard Dick DeVos, her husband and childhood best friend. Both studied in a charter school, and both were born in families who had favorable monetary conditions, never having to struggle with lack of money and extreme poverty. However, they did not close their eyes to the conditions of their classmates. Some of them, which they still remember the names to this date, were born in families that could not healthily afford the school they were in, but their families were struggling and giving their biggest efforts to pay for that education.

 

This reality was the stepping stone to what would become the motivation behind the actions of both Betsy DeVos and her husband, two of the biggest philanthropists in the United States. Betsy is currently a chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Organization “Alliance for School Choice,” and also participates in the All Children Matter PAC.

 

Visit http://www.betsydevos.com/ to learn more.

 

End Citizens United; the Political Action Committee (PAC) Championing Campaign Finance Reform

End Citizens United is a national grassroots political committee. The committee’s main agenda has been spearheading reforms of campaign finances. This is done, usually, by funding campaigns of the politicians who stand against the decision of Citizens United ruled by Supreme Court in 2010; this is where the name End Citizens United originated from. This ruling of Supreme Court has meaningfully boosted the involvement of corporations to fund politicians by offering huge contributions to their campaigns hence making them able to form super PACs with the ability to spend and raise huge amounts.

 

This PAC has endorsed one of the politicians, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, for re-elections come 2018. He has been vocal about the campaign finance reforms by advocating for transparency when it comes to political spending and donations. He has even gone ahead to publish a book called ‘Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy.’ Democrat Senator Whitehouse has even looked into Neil Gorsuch who is a Supreme Court Justice about the millions of unexplained money used to support his nominations. This was not met very well by the Republicans such as Representative John Loughlin who hit back with the same accusations about the dark money used for Democrat campaigns. Whitehouse has also received opposition from other Republicans such Rep. Robert Nadillo of Coventry State and Justice Robert Flanders, a former Supreme Court judge who will battle it out in the next elections for the senatorial position.

 

This PAC has devoted itself to making sure that the people or organizations with hefty checkbooks do not interfere with the politics of the USA. It has contributed more than $4 million in three months and is looking up to $ 35 million in contributions coming 2018 midterm elections. This PAC is headed by Tiffany Muller who is the president and the executive director of the group. She had announced that about 100,000 people are committed to their cause by contribution, the majority of who contribute for the first time she is determined when it comes to making sure huge contributors to politics do not rig the system by having the bigger influence. This has been made sure by Tiffany that nobody contributes more than $5000 to End Citizens United per donor.

 

Contributors to the End Citizens United has been advised to raise half a million dollars towards the campaigns of Jon Ossof. He is a first-time Democrat congressman political candidate in Georgia. Jon Ossof pulled an amazing surprise to many politicians by raising more than $4 million for the campaign to fill a vacant seat in the Republican House. This was left vacant by the appointment of Tom Price as A Secretary of Health and Human Services. This PAC is pushing for its agenda, and it might eventually succeed.