Betsy Devos: the new US Education Secretary

In February of 2017, President Donald Trump extinguished a federal policy that allowed students who identified as transgender to use their preferred bathroom while in school. Hours before President Trump announced this decision, Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, reached out to a representative within the Department of Education. ‘


This person, who represented transgender people working within the department, was told that Betsy DeVos had resisted the removal of the federal policy. Ms. DeVos did not make any public sign of her disapproval. Days later, Ms. DeVos spoke at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. At this conference, the Secretary of Education said that the removed bathroom policy was another example of the Obama administration’s overreaching policies.


While the report that DeVos went against the Trump administration with her opinions conflict with what she has said publicly, many Republicans know she is not a meek person. She has a long history of relentlessly fighting for her policies. Both fans and critics of DeVos have agreed that she seems to be underestimated in Washington, and this is a mistake. She has a history of getting her policies enforced.


Born in Michigan in 1958, DeVos attended Calvin College. She graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and economics. She has been active in politics since 1983 when she joined the Michigan Republican Party. In 1986 she was elected as a local precinct delegate, a position she held for 16 consecutive two-year terms.


Ms. DeVos has also been involved in political fundraising. In 2004, she raised more than $150,000 in support of George W. Bush’s campaign for reelection. During President Bush’s tenure, DeVos spent two years on the National Republican Senatorial Committee as the finance chairperson.


In November of 2016, then President-elect Donald Trump announced that he intended to nominate Betsy DeVos for the position of Secretary of Education. This nomination was generally supported by advocates for school choice. DeVos’s confirmation was initially delayed while the Office of Government Ethics reviewed her. After a hearing, the nomination was approved, and the confirmation was allowed to take place.


During her time as Education Secretary, DeVos has made many visits to public schools and has addressed crowds at graduations and other events. She has also been a proponent of expanding the ability of American citizens to choose their own schools.


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