President-elect Donald Trump’s administration is starting to take shape, with another big position in the cabinet being filled. Trump has nominated businesswoman Betsy DeVos as his Secretary of Education. DeVos’ background includes being the Republican National Committeewoman for Michigan from 1992-1997 and the chairwoman for the Michigan Republican Party from 1996-2000 and 2003-2005.
Despite being a strong advocate of school voucher programs, school choice, and privatization of schools, DeVos has actually never worked in the education system before. The DeVos family is one of the richest families in America, as she is the chair of the Windquest Group, an investment management firm she started with her husband. Her husband is Dick DeVos Jr., son of Dick DeVos Sr., the self-made billionaire co-founder of the Amway Corporation and owner of the Orlando Magic. She is also a devout Christian conservative.
DeVos supports vouchers, private schools, charter schools, homeschooling, and “digital learning” as viable options under educational choice. She hasn’t expressed concrete support of the public school system. DeVos, who is a “big league” Republican donor, did not originally support Donald Trump’s candidacy for President, has she publicly supported Marco Rubio and John Kasich. In an interview in February 2016, DeVos said, “I don’t think Donald Trump represents the Republican party. I think more and more people are going to realize that they really don’t trust him. The more they learn about his record, they’re going to break away and go to an alternate.”