Recently, the magazine publication known as Philanthropy got to sit down and talk to a well-known educational reformer. Her name is Betsy DeVos. She was asked about much of her experience with charitable giving during her lifetime. Specifically, the magazine interviewed her about school choice vouchers and her long-time work in educational reform.
Beginning Of School Choice
When asked how Mrs DeVos felt about it coming up on 25 years since the United States opened the first voucher program at a private school, she spoke of how optimistic she is. More and more states are choosing to participate in these voucher programs. The confluence of this happening is making people take notice. More of the public is noticing that public schools are failing the children. The success of the current voucher programs is showing the public that it is alright to be more open to radical reform ideas such as education savings accounts, tax credits and voucher programs.
Where Her Love Of Reform Began
When asked when her love of reform began, Mrs DeVos stated that it wasn’t one specific event that got her interested. It was more of a gradual thing. When her children were younger, both she and her husband visited a school in Grand Rapids that had been helping poor families in the area. They both saw how many of the parents were doing whatever it took to make sure their kids had a great education, even if they had to go without. It was shortly after this that Betsy and her husband began donating to that school specifically.
Betsy was asked what she felt were her biggest successes concerning educational reform. Her response was Florida because of the tax credits and scholarship programs they offer. The state has been able to enjoy the longest time frame of educational choice in the whole country. There are currently more than 50,000 kids attending the schools of their choice because of the voucher program.
Freedom Of Choice
While Betsy is mostly passionate about educational choice, she also feels the need to tear down people’s mindset that students should only be able to go to specific schools because of what zip code they live in. She is a firm believer and advocate for school choice freedom. When used correctly and with the right legislation in place, that freedom is going to result in the best education for our children across the nation.
To learn more, visit www.betsydevos.com.