DeVos Would Be First Ed. Sec. Who Hasn't Been a Public School Parent or Student
President-elect Donald Trump's pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, would be the first person to head the department in its more than 35-year history who hasn't either attended public schools or sent her own children to them.
DeVos, a Michigan philanthropist and GOP political donor who still needs to get through U.S. Senate confirmation before she can assume the helm of the agency, studied at private schools through her entire K-12 career, graduating from Holland Christian High School in Michigan, according to a family spokesman, John Truscott. She later went on to Calvin College.
And DeVos, a school choice and voucher advocate, sent each of her own children to private schools as well, Truscott said. He noted that some of DeVos' son and daughter-in-laws attended public schools.
"She believes all parents should have access to the same choices her children had," said Matt Frendewey, a spokesman for the American Federation for Children, a school choice advocacy organization that DeVos chaired until recently.
DeVos' background is a departure from all past education secretaries, each of whom either attended public schools for at least a portion of their K-12 schooling, sent their own children to public schools, or both, according to a review by the Education Week Research Center of their DeVos Would Be First Ed. Sec. Who Hasn't Been a Public School Parent or Student - Politics K-12 - Education Week: