In a recent roundtable interview with a group called Philanthropy, Betsy DeVos gave her opinion on the changing tides of education in America. She mentioned her optimism for the future of education. She cited an interesting statistic that over 17 states, including the District of Columbia, now have a combined total of 33 private schools that are serving 250,000 students every year. She emphasized the lack of traditional education’s ability to help students learn effectively, raising the importance of choices in education. One of the ways to do this, she said, was to offer more vouchers and tax breaks for families who choose private or charter schools. In addition, she mentioned the opportunities that opening an education savings account can offer to students.
The Legacy of Dick DeVos
Philanthropy should be the middle name of Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy. Together, the pair has donated millions of dollars to important causes around the U.S. and in their home state of Michigan. In fact, in 2013, they gave about $90 million. Half of this donation went towards education, about twelve percent went to the arts, and rest was dedicated to community and health services.
Read more about Dick DeVos on crunchbase.com.
They have helped students attend more classes by instituting a leadership development program. It helps teachers learn how to better engage their kids in class. It resulted in a 30% increase in attendance.
Dick and Betsy DeVos chair many groups. For example, there is the Educational Freedom Fund, which they’ve been a part of for over 25 years. The aim of the group is to give lower income students a chance to compete for scholarships. And when the Children’s Scholarship Fund gave $7.5 million to this cause, DeVos stepped in and he matched it.
They also chair Kids First. It focuses again on funding the education of hard working individuals who don’t have a lot of money from home. It also helps parents send their children to better schools, such as private institutions and charter schools. This results in greater choice for everyone.
Dick DeVos has a history of giving back. And while he has helped kids get their MBAs and other degrees and go on to do great things, it isn’t just education that he’s involved with. He also helps everyday people struggling in life. That’s why he pairs up with faith-based organizations and helps people access social aid, housing, and employment, such as with Grand Action.