Betsy Devos has taken her reforms credentials and pragmatic approach to issues to Washington. On February 2017, The New York Times reported about a public pushback by President Donald Trump to rescind a Federal policy giving transgender students’ approval to use bathrooms that match their gender identity. The decision was party attributed to Betsy’s position. Before the decision was made, Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos held a meeting of minds with transgender and gay employee representatives and warned against the implications adoption of the policy. Her position on the transgender bathroom access pit her oddly against the former senator, Washington insider and powerful attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Prior to her appointment as secretary, Betsy encountered a wobbly introduction to Washington during her confirmation hearing. The Senate voted 52 to 50 in her favor, even though it took the vote by VP Mike Pence, who cast the tiebreaker. Betsy came to Washington without much government experience or working history with the President.
However, critics and admirers now more than ever appreciate her pragmatic leadership style. There are also those who see her as gracious, but those in the know describe her as highly driven and effective when it comes to political fights and championing causes she cares about like education. Indeed, DeVos is best known as a leading proponent of school vouchers and charter schools. She is also a major donor to the Republican causes and a former Chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party. Elsewhere, the former Michigan state attorney general, Mike Cox describes Betsy DeVos as a lady who instills fear in people, and that is not just because she is a billionaire. The President of AFT, the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten reckons that a tendency to underestimate the new education secretary is rife due to her personable demeanor, even though she remains a formidable challenger in every estimate. The 59 year old Betsy from western Michigan is a native of Holland. She grew up working at her father’s auto parts company that later become a multi-million concern.
Dick DeVos, the husband to Betsy DeVos also comes from a wealthy, entrepreneurial family that runs the highly successful multi-level marketing firm called Amyway. According to The Atlantic, Betsy DeVos convictions on various issues, including politics, religion, public policy and education can be traced back many years to her hometown of Netherlands. She was raised in the Christian Reformed Church in a predominantly Dutch community that live near Lake Michigan. Betsy attended a Christian school in Grand Rapids before marrying Dick DeVos. She started the campaign to support charter schools 30 years ago, by promoting the issuance of public funds to pay for tuition for students attending private and religious schools. Through her efforts, the city of Detroit today boasts the highest number of charter schools in the US. Outside her work domain, Betsy DeVos and Dick DeVos are deeply involved in philanthropy. The couple have offered over $1.3 billion in lifetime donations to various charities and causes, including education, governance, healthcare and the arts.
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