This is an excerpt from the 2018 Steve Dustcircle book, Trump’s Cabinet: The Rise of Each Appointed Deplorable, available in ebook and paperback from Amazon.com. The book contains links to multiple references and citations.
BETSY DEVOS — SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
The United States Secretary of Education is a member of the Cabinet and advises the President on federal policy: policies, programs, and activities related to U.S. education.
This office was founded in 1981 under President Jimmy Carter. The advisory committee on higher education certification and eligibility advises the Secretary on schooling issues.
One of the most controversial persons to ever hold the office chair of the Education department is the current Secretary, Betsy DeVos.
Betsy DeVos is the daughter of billionaire Edgar Prince, the founder of the auto parts dealer Prince Corporation. She is the wife of the former CEO of the pyramid scheme Amway, and is the parent of four adult children.
The DeVos are one of the richest families in Michigan. Dick DeVos is the owner of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. He is a major player within right-wing politics, being a donor to campaigns and socio-religious causes. They also have a 22,000 square foot home.
Her brother, Erik Prince, is the founder of Blackwater (now known as Academi), which received notoriety when their secret assassination operations came to light in 2007.
DeVos is known for her philanthropy and activism, particularly is outspoken for vouchers (“school choice”) for religious schools, and has her roots in the Christian Reformed Church, and was educated at a Calvinist college. She is an elder at Mars Hill Bible Church, and allegedly admires the ideology of Abraham Kupyer’s neo-Calvinist Christian Democracy worldview.
DeVos, with her husband, founded the Windquest Group, which invests in technology and clean energy. They are the main venture capitalists for Neurocore, a biofeedback company that tries to help fight A.D.D., anxiety, and autism, but the methods were considered questionable and the results were unproven. The investment she has in Neurocore is estimated between $5 million to $25 million.
She and her husband also formed the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation where they funnel money into programs and groups that cultivate leadership — but mostly only the ones that have a Christian worldview.
In 2015, as an example of what kind of money we’re talking about here, they gave about $11.6 million to proselytizing groups like Michigan’s Foundation for Traditional Values (far right-wing), Michigan’s Pregnancy Resource Center (“pro-life”), Right to Life Michigan Educational Fund, and Baptists for Life.
They do donate money to education, but of the $14 million they gave to schooling between 1999 and 2014 from their foundation, only $59,750 went to public schools. The rest went to almost exclusively Christian schools (which includes charter schools).
In 2001, she said that her activism in education was to “advance God’s kingdom.” For many, this phrase varies in description from the minute to the extreme.
Regarding education, she has said, “the status quo is not acceptable,” but she has background as an educator or as a leader in education. The nomination and confirmation were highly criticized by people actually in the field: the teachers. Even the ACLU spoke out again her being Secretary.
She appears to have no experience with student loans or financial aid, but believes that public taxes should go to for-profit charter schools. According to CAPE, almost 80% of “private school” (charter) students attend a religious primary or secondary school. Most have a hands-off approach to accountability.
What exactly is wrong about charter or religious schools? Often times, they are not taught true science, that which can be replicated and trusted. They sometimes are not given sex and reproduction education. Diversity and cultural integration is discouraged. And usually, the kids don’t stand a chance once they switch over to public school or university.
Sadly, charter students score poorly compared to public school educated children.
Not to mention, there is an overwhelming amount of prejudice and discrimination that occurs within charter and private schools … done with your tax money. These monies are steered away from public education. Almost no one is more passionate about this than Betsy DeVos.
DeVos also got an earful for being open about weaponry being allowed to be carried by teachers and other school personnel. The threat? Grizzly bears.
From 1992 to 1997, DeVos was Michigan’s Republican National Committeewoman, and from 1996–2000 and again in 2003–2005 she was the Michigan Republican Party’s chairwoman.
From 2003 to 2016, DeVos was in charge of the All Children Matter PAC (political action committee), which filters large political donations from wealthy individuals or big businesses to political candidates. The DeVos-owned PAC was fined in 2008 $5.2 million in Ohio for money laundering. The fine (at the time of this writing) still has not been paid.
DeVos was considered to be a “political pit bull,” and was a nightmare to then Governor, Jennifer Granholm, a civil rights and human liberties Democrat. She donated big bucks and admits that she expects that her money should sway politicians and civil servants into doing her favors. She feels government should be “honest,” but openly lied to Congress.
DeVos was a shrewd fund-raiser, detailed organizer, and was always vocal about what she felt violated her religious convictions, especially when it had no direct affect on her or her family. She calls these convictions, “traditional American virtues.”
In March 2016, she ridiculed Donald Trump, saying he “does not represent the Republican Party.”
DeVos barely was confirmed by the United States Senate in a 51–50 vote, with Vice President Mike Pence being the tie-breaking vote, after facing strong opposition from the Democratic Party. But even people in her own party were hesitant with more than 300 lawmakers being against her nomination.
The most recent of many controversies surrounding Betsy DeVos is that regarding “school choice,” black schools were among the pioneers of this ideology. She was corrected by public-schooled, educated people that blacks went to different schools during segregation for different reasons.
Trivia: DeVos is anti-gay, particularly against LGBT youth.