For more than three decades, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been a tireless advocate for educational choice. The prominent businesswoman’s support for individualized learning opportunities that can best meet each individual student’s unique needs began when her own four children were school-aged, and Mrs. DeVos and her husband had the opportunity to spend time at Potter’s House Christian School in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Potter’s House Christian School
Potter’s House Christian School is an educational venue that serves children between kindergarten and the 12th grade. Its academic programs are firmly grounded in religious principles that support the evolution of youngsters into adults with strong moral beliefs. The school attracts families from many different walks of life, including low-income families for whom paying tuition is a real challenge. How fair was it to force these families to pay taxes that support public schools they weren’t using, Mrs. DeVos wondered? Didn’t that serve to underscore the division between wealthier families who could afford educational choice and less affluent families? Wouldn’t it more just to open up the closed educational system so that all parents had greater choice?
The American Federation for Children
In the early 1990s, Mrs. DeVos began supporting measures on the Michigan ballot that called for changes in K-12 funding. These changes were intended to create more charter schools and to increase opportunities for the types of online learning that provide the backbone for so many home-schooling efforts. Betsy DeVos also launched a political action committee called the Great Lakes Education Project that focused on promulgating educational reform throughout the state of Michigan. She became involved as well with other school-choice organizations such as All Children Matter and the Alliance for School Choice. Taking what she learned from participating in these venues, Betsy DeVos and her husband formed the American Federation for Children in 2010.
The American Federation for Children has seen many successes in the states where it maintains a presence. In Florida, for example, the 501(c)(4) organization helped implement a tax-credit scholarship program that has enabled more than 50,000 students to attend schools their families have specifically chosen for them. The number of Florida students the nonprofit serves grows larger every year. Louisiana and Indiana are other states that have received assistance from the American Federation for Children for the passage of educational choice reforms.
Betsy DeVos does not see educational choice as a strictly partisan issue. She thinks increasing numbers of both Democratic and Republican state legislators are beginning to respond to its appeal. Betsy DeVos believes that educational choice is a rich movement that encompasses digital learning, homeschooling, charter schools an magnet schools as well as vouchers and tax credits. Learn more: http://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/20170127/letter-in-support-of-betsy-devos-for-secretary-of-education