In a 2018 interview with “60 Minutes,” Betsy DeVos looked calm and ready to answer questions on her somewhat polarizing views on educational choice. For the past few decades, America has struggled with education problems, stemming from the lack of funding for public education. In the midst of these struggles, there were other woes from previous administrations. DeVos has inherited many of these issues in an age where information is readily available on the internet.
It seems that as Betsy DeVos was sworn into office, she was going to take on a lot of people in public education. Her views on educational choice were scary to those who wanted to ensure that public money stayed with public education. DeVos has always said that philanthropy has supported educational choice, and not the other way around.
In fact, in her interview with “60 Minutes,” DeVos stated that those who say that public funding will go to private schools don’t understand how it works. Educational choice has been supported by many donors as well, including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton. In addition, DeVos has given over $139 million to different causes, including $35 million to education.
So where has she seen success? DeVos has said that it has been difficult to get all states on board with educational choice. She explains that while the programs help children who are from underprivileged areas, many states are holding back because of the critical and outspoken public education administration. DeVos says that educational choice allows students and parents in underprivileged neighborhoods to get a better education. They don’t have to stifck to the schools where they are zoned. They can use magnet programs, virtual schools, homeschooling programs, private school, and charter schools for education, too. Not every state has changed over to these policies.
Many states have refused to have any type of educational choice. However, Florida and Louisiana have gotten more educational choice options in the past few years. Florida is the shining example, according to DeVos. In the Sunshine State, students are able to get a lot of support for private education from the tuition-based scholarship program. Students can also choose a variety of options for education as there are many private schools located in Florida. The state has the most options for those who dont’ want to go to school where they are zoned.
In addition to her duties for education reform, DeVos has taken on new legislation to keep campuses safe. After the problems with gun violence in America’s schools in 2018 at Parkland, DeVos was appointed to lead the gun safety reform for schools. She has responded with several new policies that have made campuses safer, but there has been some controversy over whether teachers should be allowed to have guns as well.
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