Dick DeVos; Businessman and Entrepreneur

Dick DeVos and his wife, Betsy, are well known in Michigan. Dick DeVos is a licensed pilot and the son of co-founder Richard DeVos, who started the company Amway. He feels strongly about education reform and has helped with the expansion of charter schools, with the help of Betsy. They have a vast array of interests and have spent much of their time trying to change institution and policies.

One such success story was the $12.5 million they donated toward the construction of a children’s hospital in Grand Rapids. It was named after Dick DeVos’ mother, Helen DeVos. The children’s hospital has allowed families to remain at home and not to have to travel long distances or take time off work whenever their child needed to receive medical care.
Education reform is another area where they have pushed for changes. Betsy DeVos feels strongly about the expansion of charter schools. They feel that children from poor families should have the same educational opportunities as their own kids had.

One unique public charter high school is West Michigan Aviation Academy. It started out in an old office space with 80 students and is now at Gerald R. Ford International Airport with its own building and over 600 students. The charter school offers aviation classes in every grade which includes plane maintenance, electronics and pilot instruction. A student doesn’t have to want to become a pilot to attend. The school also offers classes in computer science, robotic systems and aerospace engineering. Part of Dick and Betsy DeVos’ interest in aviation stems from the fact that Dick DeVos is licensed to fly single engine planes, jets and helicopters.

Their efforts to reform education have not always succeeded. In 2000, Michigan voters rejected a constitutional amendment to create tax funded vouchers for the students who desire to attend private schools. After this defeat, they went to other states for private school vouchers, and 24 states now have some form of amendment for vouchers for private schools.
Dick DeVos also lost in a campaign for governor in 2006.

They have donated millions of dollars to multiple programs, including leadership programs, health services, and education reform. In 2012, Dick DeVos helped convert a law that made Michigan a right-to-work state where union membership was no longer required for employment of organized labor.

Both Dick and Betsy DeVos now have positions in Washington DC. President Donald Trump has appointed Betsy DeVos US Secretary of Education.

Dick DeVos has played a large role in convincing Southwest to offer routes out of the Grand Rapids airport. Within a short period of time, the airport has seen twice the national average and is now in the middle of an upgrade that will be completed in 2018. Dick DeVos has been appointed to the top civilian panel that oversees the Federal Aviation Administration. This is a three-year term, and he serves in a volunteer capacity.

 

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Betsy Devos – on topic article

Fresh off her speech in front of a C-PAC audience, Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos is back in her Washington office. While at the Thursday meeting, DeVos expressed her support of the Trump Administration’s announcement to rescind the law that allowed trans-gendered school children to use the bathroom of their chosen gender. Many people don’t know that behind the scenes, DeVos disagreed with Trump.

 

People would be sorely misjudging DeVos if they believed she just simply rolled over. She would never allow people to believe there was a behind-the-scenes rift. Betsy DeVos is far more tough than she seems. People who have underestimated her paid dearly. Mike Cox, a Republican operative in Michigan says DeVos is polite and down home as they come. But if you cross her, she will make you pay. “She can accomplish anything she puts her mind to,” said Cox.

 

Before her foray into Washington politics, DeVos and her husband, Amway heir, Dick DeVos, were heavy-hitters in Michigan Republican politics. They both used their enormous wealth to steer legislation they way they wanted. DeVos was determined to have a charter school on every corner. While she felt that people had the right to place their children in good schools, critics felt that she was doing her best to destroy public schools.

 

DeVos was born in 1958 in Holland, Michigan. She and her husband Dick have been married for nearly 40 years. Like her husband, she was born into tremendous wealth that gave her significant advantages. This is another knock by her critics. The idea that she is out of touch with regular citizens who don’t have the tremendous wealth to pay for college. “She nor her children have never had to worry about paying for tuition, books or anything else. So how can she realistically talk to others needed financial aid?” said an unnamed source.

 

DeVos has done everything she can to dump tax dollars into charter schools. The vast majority of the schools are for profit. There is also very little oversight, something that DeVos seems fine with. Critics claim DeVos is against oversight because it would reveal the chaotic state of charter schools in Michigan. Many have closed and over half of those still open are no serving the children well.

 

National Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten is convinced that DeVos is attempting to destroy public schools. She also reinforced her feelings about public schools by making a statement that was not well-received by area Washington schools.

 

While DeVos was a bit miffed by the comments that she is ignorant and out of touch, she is determined to prove her worth.

 

“She’s dangerous,” said Weingarten. “She may come off as plainspoken, but she is anything but.”

 

Only time will tell about DeVos. So far, her time in Washington has been rocky to say the least.

 

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Betsy Devos Believes Freedom of Speech is a Good Thing Because “Good Ideas” Will Always Win

In her new role as Education Secretary, Betsy Devos wants to promote democracy throughout the nation. She desires to promote many of the hallmarks that have always made our country great. In that vein, she said that freedom of speech on college campuses will always be an encouraging thing, because in the end “good ideas are always going to win.”

 

It was during a speaking engagement at the Conservative Political Action Conference that Devos addressed the issue, saying that there has been an alarming rise in censorship on college campuses. Devos felt this was unfortunate and hearkened back to her own college experience. She said she felt very privileged regarding her college days; she told the listeners that it was a time where she could truly “test the waters” and “explore” how she felt about any type of given issue. Devos urged the crowd to fully understand that higher education should be a place where new opinions and ideas are fully explored. The Trump administration is committed to encouraging freedom of speech on college campuses across the country, and Devos noted how she was honored to be on the ground floor of an attempted revitalization of how ideas can and should be presented on college campuses.

 

Devos has been working in partnership with Attorney General Jeff Sessions in addressing many different disconcerting cases where freedom of speech has been threatened on college campuses. She did not elaborate on certain cases but said it was high on their list of priorities. Conservatives at the conference were quick to realize that it was definitely a privilege to have an ally in such a significant office. That very fact alone means that young conservatives on college campuses everywhere will be bolstered in their attempts to get their points across along with their more liberal classmates.

 

About Betsy Devos

 

Betsy Devos is a former Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman who distinguished herself within the GOP early on for being a strong advocate for the charter school movement. She has fought to steer tax dollars away from public schools to charter schools for over 30 years. She has quite an amazing pedigree considering that she, along with her husband Dick, are quite the political power couple. Dick Devos’ father was a co-founder of Amway, and Mr. Devos ran unsuccessfully to become Governor of Michigan in 2006. Despite the setback, they remain active in politics and they are committed to being role models to the next generation of conservatives within the GOP.

 

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