At a recent philosophy round table, some of the most prolific shapers and school reform proponents offered their wisdom regarding public policy via philanthropy. Chester Finn, John Kirtley, Fred Klipsch, Thomas Carroll and Betsy DeVos were all part of the panel.
All of the experts come from diverse backgrounds and have varying opinions of how school reform should be implemented. Fighting for school change is not as simple as one would think. Although a number of good ideas have been brought forth, infighting and politics have played a role in thwarting progress. It is also believed that some of the wealthy philanthropic organizations use money as a way of getting influence.
One thing the experts have all found is that simply throwing money at the situation is not the answer. Betsey DeVos, wife of Amway CEO Richard DeVos, runs a multi-million dollar foundation that pushes for school choice. DeVos says many great things have been achieved by school choice, but the money has to be appropriated the correct way. The DeVos family have given a great deal of money to the voucher programs and many other programs to help low income families.
Dick DeVos is a businessman and co-founder of Amway. He started the company in 1959 and built it into one of the largest direct-selling companies in the world. DeVos are not only extremely wealthy, but they are also run one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the state of Michigan. The DeVoses have used a lot of influence to push their school choice agenda.
Dick DeVos is very conservative Republican. He has given a great deal of money to many Republican candidates including Mitt Romney and Ted Cruz. He ran an unsuccessful bid for governor of the state of Michigan in 1996.
Connect with DeVos on LinkedIn.