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Who is Betsy DeVos and why is she an important figure in education, mental health, and school violence debates? Following is a recap of her comments and work about recent school shootings, a look at the public and private DeVos, and how her connection with the Trump Administration impact her work.
Article Recap “Betsy DeVos and Democrats call for congressional hearings in wake of Florida school shooting”
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is urging the U.S. Congress to have more hearings following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. According to this article in the Washington Post, Secretary DeVos is calling for more Congressional level conversation aimed specifically at mental health issues. She has the agreement of Democratic lawmakers, who are also calling for more legislative action dealing with firearms restriction and gun safety, including ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Sen. Patty Murray. In the House of Representatives, Rep. Bobby Scott and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici are calling for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to schedule hearings on the matter right away, pointing out that in the past five years over 430 people have been injured in more then 230 school shootings, calling it a public health epidemic.
Who Is Betsy DeVos?
Betsy DeVos is the other half of Grand Rapids, Michigan billionaire power couple, Dick and Betsy DeVos. Her husband is a member of the family who co-founded Amway. Betsy is from a wealthy Holland, Michigan family with ties to the Dutch community and the Christian Reformed Church. The DeVos’s are patrons and supporters of many conservative causes, specifically education.
Betsy DeVos is a proponent of charter schools who advocates for the expansion of school choice vouchers. Her opponents accuse her of working against the traditional public education system. While others question her commitment to equality in the charter school education system. She believes that public, private, charter and religious schools can, and should, equally share educational funding. Her philosophy is shared by the Trump Administration and led to her nomination and confirmation of U.S. Secretary of Education. For Secretary DeVos, her job involves tackling issues relating to mental health services, gun violence, and lobbying members of Congress to act on these concerns.
Advocating for Equality in Education
Betsy DeVos is a public figure in every way. In her private, non-political, and philanthropic life, and now in her public life serving in the Trump Administration, Betsy DeVos is working to fix what many refer to as a broken education system. Her private work will continue to stand on its own merit. Her accomplishments as Education Secretary will be judged in concert with other policies set for by the current administration.
Betsy DeVos has found herself at the center of the school shooting and gun control debates. Given her commitment and contribution to educational initiatives in her hometown, look for some innovative solutions to the U.S. education dilemma during her tenure as Education Secretary.