Betsy DeVos and the Fight for School Choice

The role of the government in regards to providing quality education to the citizens of the United States has always been a nebulous topic, at best. We’ve often heard horror stories of government funded schools struggling to make ends meet, forcing teachers to pony up and pay for their own supplies. That is why we were so interested when Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the U.S. Secretary of Education by the Trump Administration. DeVos is a devout private school and voucher program advocate and she is promising to bring in a realm of change to the role of government in schools. DeVos broke down what her future goals are and how she has been influenced by her past in order to give an enlightening interview.

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As we alluded to above, Betsy DeVos is a devout believer in the private choice programs that are going into effect in so many different states around the country. DeVos herself has been stumping for more private choice schooling options ever since Milton Friedman’s book, ‘The Role of Government in Education’, began to gain some serious traction. DeVos points out that there are 17 states participating in private choice school programs that include 33 schools and a quarter of a million students. Private choice schooling options are no longer considered a fringe choice in education and you can thank the DeVos family for this, at least in part.

Betsy DeVos knows that she can’t peg her affinity to school choice down to a single moment, but she does recall a visit to the Potter’s House Christian School so many years ago. DeVos said that during the meeting at the school, which was made with her husband Dick DeVos, she noticed that the school was absolutely electric with potential and the pursuit of knowledge. DeVos says, “We met parents who were doing everything in their power to have their kids in an environment that was safe, where they were learning, and where the atmosphere was just electric with curiosity.” Visit betsydevos.com to know more about Betsy.

DeVos has been more than just an admiring bystander during this entire process. During the early 1990s Betsy served on the boards of two important charities that were focused on public school choice: Children First America as well as the American Education Reform Council. Her work here was focused on making a political movement that would garner school choice some momentum in order to really make a difference. Of course, DeVos has done far more than just mingle on charity boards. She was also the chair at the Michigan Republican party where she worked hard to try to get state legislation passed to enforce a voucher system for public school options. It is easy to see that this topic means a great deal to DeVos and millions of other Americans.

The Efforts Of End Citizens United To Bring About Reforms To Campaign Financing In The U.S

End Citizens United is a political action task force based in Washington D.C that was established in March 2015. It is a group that focuses on bringing about major reforms in campaign financing in the U.S.

This group was necessitated from a ruling made by the Supreme Court in 2010 in the “Citizens United vs. FEC” case. This is mainly because the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United, thereby allowing special interest groups and billionaires to inject funding into political campaigns.

The ruling created a legal situation that encouraged the idea of considering organizations to be people. The Citizens United is a group of corporations and billionaires who aim to secure political power through unlimited campaign funding.

In a system where the law was created to reducing corruption in the society and the electoral system, it is a major step back to allow direct campaign funding from untraceable sources.

End Citizens United was established to motivate constitutional reforms that would reverse the ruling made by the Supreme Court. In their efforts to counter dark money groups and corporate special interests, End Citizens United supports individuals who share common goals and utilizing grassroots support to bring meaningful changes to the issue of campaign funding.

The group supports mostly Democrats running for principal offices because they are the leaders in the fight against Citizens United. Even though there are Independent and Republican voters who also share this idea, it is the leadership of the Republican party in U.S Congress that hinders the process of overturning the ruling of the Supreme Court.

Because the curtailing of political spending is of great importance, End Citizens United believes in the power of grassroots support and transparency in political campaigning.

The group is financed and supported by members at the grassroots. In 2015, they had received over 136,000 donations and had managed to get 325,000 signatures for their petition to the Supreme Court. These donors contribute to the fight for democracy.

End Citizens United is committed to creating a broad partnership that will champion for reforms in campaign funding and put pressure on Congress to implement changes. The group offers support for political aspirants who are under attack from big corporations, dark money groups, and individuals who stand against them.

The group has also set up an independent financial sector that will back aspirants through direct mailers, polling and television, and media and campaigns. End Citizens United is committed to enacting constitutional reforms in campaign financing at the national and regional levels through the aspirants they support.

However, some political analysts and experts claim that enacting such reforms in the U.S political system is a very challenging task, if not impossible. They forward that it would be much easier to confirm a new justice for the Supreme Court, who would bring a new balance.

This, however, does not hinder the efforts of End Citizens United, as they continue pressing the court and the most important political actors not to make things worse.