Betsy Devos: the new US Education Secretary

The February 2017 decision to remove a federal policy that allowed students who identified as transgender to use their preferred bathroom while at school was apparently privately opposed by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.


A report that came from within the Department of Education states that Ms. DeVos was warning employees about the decision to revoke the policy hours before it was announced by President Trump. One department employee in particular, who acted as a representative of the gay and trans community, was told that DeVos opposed the removal of the school bathroom policy.


Publically, however, Betsy DeVos has spoken out against the policy. While speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Ms. DeVos chalked the policy up as another overreaching and ineffective decision from the Obama administration.


Reports of internal conflict within the Trump administration are not uncommon, but opposition from Ms. DeVos is somewhat uncharacteristic. She is known in her home state of Michigan as a perseverant politician who fights for her stances. She has been applauded by fans and opposed by critics for her tendency to stick to her decisions.


DeVos, whose confirmation as Secretary of Education was delayed amidst a hearing in the Office of Government Ethics, has drawn criticism from some educators. Others, however, commend her stance of promoting the ability to choose schools.


Betsy DeVos is no stranger to the political stage. She served as a precinct delegate in Michigan for 16 consecutive terms. She has also been active in political fundraising, amassing a donation of more than $150,000 in support of George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign. Additionally, she served under Bush, spending two years as the financial chair for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.


Betsy DeVos does not focus just on politics. She is an active philanthropist. Her various foundations focus on funding art and educational programs around the country. She served on the board of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for six years. During this time she and her husband, Dick DeVos, donated over $22 million to the effort of educating the public about arts and preserving culturally important pieces of art.


The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation has supported the arts as well. The foundation also gives to organizations that focus on education and cultivating leadership in young members of society.


For updates, follow Betsy DeVos on twitter.

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