The Real Betsy Devos
Not as evil as they say
Who is Betsy DeVos, really?
Betsy DeVos comes from a very wealthy family, and married into another very wealthy family. She has been active in the Republican Party in Michigan for many years, and has long been an advocate for school choice. While she has been criticized for her lack of experience in education, she has actually been active in the realm of education for many years.
Not only is DeVos an advocate for school choice, she puts her money where her mouth is. She started a foundation to provide scholarships to low-income families, giving them the resources they needed to choose where their kids went to school. She has devoted herself to this cause for over 20 years, yet career Washington politicians, all of whom can afford to send their kids to whatever cushy private school they choose, say she is unqualified.
The reality that led Betsy DeVos to advocate for school choice is that too many of America's public schools are failing, and for parents that want something different for their child but cannot afford private or homeschooling, they have no other options. The government's education monopoly cuts most Americans off from any choices in their childrens' education.
While Democrats are all about choice when it comes to killing children in utero, they are much less so when it comes to educating the children that survive.
But opposition to Betsy DeVos wasn't strictly partisan; the divide was defined not by political parties, but by Big Union Money. It was union money, not ideology, that pushed two Republican Senators to vote against DeVos, pushing the vote to a tie and requiring the Vice President to cast a vote to break the tie.
The teachers' unions are so firmly embedded in America's government education bureaucracy that they vociferously oppose any and all efforts to give Americans the ability to choose anything else. So it should come as no surprise that they sent their bought-and-paid-for politicians out to oppose DeVos. After all, the Department of Education was created during the Carter administration as a way of paying back the unions for their endorsement. In their minds, the Department of Education is their department. It belongs to them, and no Republican interloper is going to come in and start introducing competition to the education monopoly they have worked so hard to build.
As the saying goes, "follow the money."
For myself, I hope that Betsy DeVos is wildly successful in introducing school choice all across America. As a libertarian/conservative in California, I find the dictatorial nature of this state's education bureaucracy to be intolerable. All politics is local, and all education should be local, too. As a parent to three children, I don't need some far-off bureaucracy raising my kids for me - and as someone who understands liberty, I'm in favor of any measure that takes power away from the bureaucrats and puts it back into the hands of the parents.