Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Michigan Commentators Fill in the Gaps about Michigan’s Betsy DeVos | janresseger

Michigan Commentators Fill in the Gaps about Michigan’s Betsy DeVos | janresseger:

Michigan Commentators Fill in the Gaps about Michigan’s Betsy DeVos


When someone like Betsy DeVos, who has been active for years in Michigan state politics emerges on the national stage, it is worth paying careful attention to what Michigan insiders have to say. DeVos is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education; her record in Michigan will prepare us for what she will bring to the U.S. Department of Education. Michigan’s investigative EclectaBlog just published Mitchell Robinson’s history of two decades’ of advocacy for school privatization by Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick, the Grand Rapids, Amway heir.
While school vouchers had been defeated at Michigan’s polls in 1972 and 1978,  in 2000 Dick and Betsy DeVos backed an amendment to change the following constitutional language: “No public monies or property shall be appropriated or paid or any public credit utilized… to add or maintain any private, denominational or other nonpublic, pre-elementary, elementary, or secondary school.”  Robinson explains that after Michigan voters rejected the DeVos-backed measure in 2000 by a 69 percent margin, the DeVoses settled on a stealth lobbying campaign to accomplish their long goal of marketplace school choice.
In 2001, they founded the Great Lakes Education Project “to fight against public schools, teacher unions, and teachers.” They also invested to gain control of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Philanthropy through their private family foundation is driven by the organization’s mission statement: “Our faith motivates our giving; it is integral to who we are and what we do.”  The DeVos Family Foundation has made grants to the Foundation for Traditional Values which sponsors the Student Statesmanship Institute that, “Equips teenagers to distinguish between secular and Biblical approaches to life and motivates them to shine for Christ in their generation without compromising their values.”  Robinson also ties Dick and Betsy DeVos to the Michigan Family Forum, the state branch of Focus on the Family. In 2010, Betsy DeVos formed the American Federation for Children, which grew out of an older organization, Advocates for School Choice, to work for school privatization across the country.
Finally there was last summer’s enormous lobbying campaign in Michigan’s House of Representatives to kill the Detroit Education Commission, which was to have been part of the Michigan Commentators Fill in the Gaps about Michigan’s Betsy DeVos | janresseger:


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