What You Need to Know About Trump’s Secretary of Education Pick Besty DeVos

This piece is one in a series of articles about President-elect Donald Trump’s appointees for the new administration. To read the rest in the series, click here.

It took a few weeks, but finally President-elect Donald Trump broke from his streak of picking white men to work in his administration, and finally added a woman to his Cabinet. Michigan activist and billionaire Betsy DeVos has been announced as the latest addition to the new Presidential team, and is poised to be the next Secretary of Education.

Here’s what you need to know about DeVos.

1) Her family is another set of big conservative donors.

DeVos is daughter-in-law of Amway cofounder Richard DeVos — worth over $5 billion according to Forbes

The DeVos family have been ardent GOP supporters for years. Richard DeVos … was the finance chair of the Republican National Committee in the 1980s and publicly donated at least $2.9 million in 2016 — all to Republican groups — according to Center for Responsive Politics data. According some reports (including Jane Mayer’s book, Dark Money) he has quietly given hundreds of millions over the past four decades to conservative causes,” Forbes reports“Betsy and her husband, Richard Jr., have proudly carried on the tradition. She chaired the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000 and again from 2003 and 2005; Richard Jr. [Dick] unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2006. The couple donated at least $2.8 million this cycle — again only to conservatives — including Right to Rise, a pro-Jeb super PAC. It appears they never publicly came out in support of Trump prior to the election.”

2) And her brother was an Iraq War profiteer.

“Her brother is Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, one of the most profitable private security firms during the Iraq War,” reports the Washington Post. “Blackwater came under scrutiny after its guards shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007.”

3) Public schools in Michigan have long seen her as an enemy.

“In Michigan, we know firsthand how disastrous DeVos’ ideology is, as she has spent decades wielding her family’s money and influence to destroy public education and turn our schools and students over to for-profit corporations,” Michigan Education Association President Steven Cook said in a press release regarding the appointment.

4) She advocates for public taxpayer funds to go into school vouchers to fund private and religious schools.

“It is hard to find anyone more passionate about the idea of steering public dollars away from traditional public schools than Betsy DeVos, Donald J. Trump’s pick as the cabinet secretary overseeing the nation’s education system,” reports the New York Times. “For nearly 30 years, as a philanthropist, activist and Republican fund-raiser, she has pushed to give families taxpayer money in the form of vouchers to attend private and parochial schools, pressed to expand publicly funded but privately run charter schools, and tried to strip teacher unions of their influence.”

5) She’s anti-union, especially for teachers.

“Speaking in July during a school choice forum at the Republican National Convention in Ohio, DeVos accused teachers unions of holding back innovation in education and called them ‘a formidable foe’ at both state and national levels,” the Detroit News reports, adding, “In 2012, Dick DeVos led the charge in getting the Legislature to make Michigan a right-to-work state, eliminating work rules that made financial support of unions a condition of employment for teachers in public schools.”

6) She’s out of her league in any higher education decisions.

DeVos’s only experience is in pushing for so-called “school choice.” That could be a disaster when it comes to dealing with higher education issues like college funding.

“[T]he education secretary will also oversee higher education, an area where DeVos has no expertise or history of activism — including overseeing the $127 billion annual federal student loans and Pell Grants program,” writes Vox.com. “Trump had proposed changing student loan repayment plans, and the next education secretary could also oversee a rewriting of the Higher Education Act, the law governing federal student loan and grant programs that is periodically renewed. It’s not clear how much interest DeVos has in these issues.”

7) She is another Evangelical administration member.

According to Charisma News, DeVos, a board member of Mars Hill Bible Church, will be the fourth Evangelical pick made by Trump, out of his first five announced administration hires.

8) She wasn’t the first choice.

According to some reports, Jerry Falwell Jr. was originally offered the position but turned it down because he couldn’t leave Liberty University for four years. So maybe, in the end, it really could have been worse.

Photo credit: Keith Almli, via Wikimedia commons


Richard A
Richard A2 years ago

And now this woman has been confirmed to a Cabinet post. I believe that this person was pit in place to tear down the public schools so that they can all be privatized.

Annie D
.2 years ago

Hopefully, she will solve at least some of our educational issues. One of the greatest problems for is that most of universities don’t receive enough budget for their researching studies. Students would not have many opportunities in doing their research, even though they have all the necessary knowledge for that. By the way, if your’re looking for something or someone to help you out with doing your school assignment, you should consider paper writing services from UK, where you can find the list of top writing services of our country. You’ll get a professional essay writers help online that would write you the best assignment.

Marie W
Marie W2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Peggy B
Peggy B2 years ago


Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn2 years ago

thanks for the link

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran2 years ago

noted. isn't amway a pyramid scheme?

Kellyanne M
Kellyanne M2 years ago

Well now she sounds delightful. Just what Education does not need.

Elaine D
Elaine D2 years ago

Thank you

Dot A.
Dot A2 years ago

CON'T from previous post: - - - and 'who cares?' I believe many still care very much! We're living in turbulent times folks. Pay attention and do whatever you can to keep our world worth living in for the future.

Dot A.
Dot A2 years ago

Our country has suffered tremendously due to poor schools and lack of genuine educational instruction. And truthfully, even those with economic advantages aren't getting the quality of education needed for all that our world demands of our upcoming generations. Other countries are adhering to stricter guidelines, higher goals, more pertinent material than what most of our states, and local school systems demand for graduating. Of course, 'lovin' the uneducated' is how it seems to be done these days. Let the instructions of clear thinking and guidance of constructive intelligence fall away, and those who wish to take over will find it quite a piece of cake. Plus, if we have radical outdated social guidelines set by an antiquated narrow minded elitist, we add to the ignorance of changing times, and give our power away to those whose ego's demand self-serving attention, unjust control, and unfair financial success over all other human endeavors. We have left 'virtue,' 'merit', and 'wisdom,' out of the American culture long enough to give those without such characteristics a handle on the government like never before. - Those who make a profit from our national pastimes of sports, war, and marketing to the low self-esteem of our population are making out like BANDITS. And they're taking our medical, educational, and industrial businesses with them. No wonder weed has gained such a popular acclaim. Keep smoking up the air and the whole view just gets blurrier and blurrie