Betsy DeVos and Family Give Away Lots of Their Money

The woman Donald Trump chose as his Secretary of Education comes with a long history of charitable and political donations. That includes her husband Dick DeVos, his parents and her children.Betsy and her husband set up the private Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation in 1989, and she is the chairman. Their giving does align with their political and religious views, yet also includes a lot of support for artistic causes.And over the years, she has devoted many hours as well as dollars to the causes she supports, despite being highly active in directly political activities and serving as Chairman of the Windquest Group, the holding group that invests in companies working in the clean energy industry, as well as others. She has served on various local and national boards, including the Mars Hill Bible Church, the DeVos Institute for Arts Management and Kids Hope USA.

Education, especially the issue of school choice, has always been close to her heart. Therefore, she has worked with the Alliance for School Choice, the Foundation for Excellence in Education and has been chairman of the American Federation for Children (AFC). Clearly this is the work which lead Donald Trump to consider her qualified to serve as Secretary of Education.Politically, she and her husband are top donors to conservative politicians and causes, right up there with the Koch Brothers. According to Inside Philanthropy, they may have donated at least $44 million just within their home state of Michigan.In addition to supporting organizations advocating for more school choice, the DeVos family foundations gives directly. In 2010 they founded an entire new high school, the West Michigan Aviation Academy.

That’s a charter school with an aviation theme located near Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids Michigan. They also support two Christian private schools run by Potter’s House. And they are big financial backers of the Education Freedom Fund, which gives scholarships to impoverished kids to attend private schools. She has even served as a volunteer school tutor.According to DeVos, she and her husband visited a private Christian school many years ago when their children were still in grade school. Most of the students were African-American, and the tuition it charged was a financial burden to their parents. However, the determination of those parents to see their children get a good education impressed Betsy. She and Dick could afford to send their kids to the best private schools, and they wanted to support the opportunity for low income parents to have the same opportunities.Many people disagree with Betsy DeVos, but nobody can say she’s a hypocrite. She and her husband back up their principles with plenty of cold, hard cash.

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