Philanthropist Betsy Devos
It has been reported that an internal dispute occurred between Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Donald Trump Administration in February of 2017. The dispute stemmed out of President Trump’s decision to revoke a federal policy that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice while attending school. The decision was controversial, and in a public speech, DeVos supported the decision. A report from within the Department of Education implies that Ms. DeVos privately opposed the retraction of the policy.
It is being reported that hours before the decision to revoke the policy was announced, Betsy DeVos issued a warning about it to members of her staff. One such member, who is a representative of the gay and trans community, said that DeVos opposed the repeal of the bathroom policy.
It is unusual for such a report to come out from the Department of Education. Typically, DeVos is in line with her party and has not opposed any previous decisions. Michigan voters know DeVos as a perseverant politician who sticks to her decisions.
A Michigan native, DeVos served as a National Committeewomen for the Republican Party from 1992 to 1997. She has long been involved in education legislation, supporting such efforts as school choice, voucher programs, and charter schools.
DeVos graduated from Michigan’s Calvin College in 1979 with a degree in business. She entered the political world in 1982, joining the Michigan Republican Party. In 1996 she became a chairperson of the Republican Party in Michigan, a position she held until 2000.
Betsy DeVos is active in both philanthropy and political fundraising. She helped raise funds for George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign. During Bush’s administration, DeVos was position as the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s finance chairperson.
DeVos’s philanthropic efforts include the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, which as of 2015, has donated $139 million to fund health research, arts education, and other educational ventures.
When nominated to the position of Secretary of Education in 2016, DeVos was met with some opposition. A hearing took place to determine whether she was fit to hold office or not. The hearing delayed her confirmation, but she was eventually found fit for office.
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