“My heart and prayers go out to the victims of this horrible act and to all students and members of the North Park Elementary School community,” said U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in response to the victims of the San Bernardino school shooting yesterday. “I want to thank the first responders, teachers and school administrators who were there to protect the students in harm’s way. As a mother and grandmother, today’s senseless violence is a tragedy no parent should ever have to face. I ask everyone to join me in keeping all the victims and those impacted in your prayers.”
DeVos has recently been the target of mainstream media negativity, but the narratives have bounced off the back of the new Secretary. During an interview with the Miami Herald last week, she stated illegal immigrant students in Florida “should not be concerned” about losing in-state tuition because the Trump White House is “very supportive” of states deciding for themselves on such policy.
The Secretary said that immigration “is an issue that’s been widely discussed within the administration and I yesterday referred to (Homeland Security Secretary) Gen. (John F.) Kelly’s comments about the fact that (undocumented) students should not be concerned.”
“They should continue to focus on their studies and continue to pursue their educations,” DeVos said. “The administration is very supportive of states setting their direction and I would say that would be consistent here, too.”
“I can guarantee you that we have a lot of very bad people to go after, and the least of my worries are undocumented illegal aliens who are living lives.”
“I have a lot of things on my plate, a lot of criminals to apprehend and deport, that are here illegally, criminals beyond just the fact that they’re here illegally, and the least of my worries right now is anyone who falls under the general category of DACA,” DeVos said last month. “I can guarantee you that we have a lot of very bad people to go after, and the least of my worries are undocumented illegal aliens who are living lives.”
DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program enacted by President Barack Obama in June 2012. The program allowed undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
Before taking the position of Secretary of State for President Trump, DeVos gave a hint about her position on Common Core.
“I am not a supporter—period,” she said. “I do support high standards, strong accountability, and local control. When Governors such as John Engler, Mike Huckabee, and Mike Pence were driving the conversation on voluntary high standards driven by local voices, it all made sense. Have organizations that I have been a part of supported Common Core? Of course. But that’s not my position. Sometimes it’s not just students who need to do their homework.”
“Above all, I believe every child, no matter their zip code or their parents’ jobs, deserves access to a quality education.”
“However, along the way, it got turned into a federalized boondoggle,” DeVos added. “Above all, I believe every child, no matter their zip code or their parents’ jobs, deserves access to a quality education…I am very excited to get to work and to talk about my thoughts and ideas on making American education great again. The status quo is not acceptable. I am committed to transforming our education system into the best in the world.”
Her record as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party four times from 1996 to 2005 and a member of the Republican National Committee from 1992 to 1998 has been especially difficult for liberal media to penetrate. She and her husband founded the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation in 1989 as a means of giving back. The foundation focuses on causes that fit within the following five categories: community, education, arts, justice, and leadership.
Over the years, the foundation has supported the American Federation for Children, ArtPrize, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Pediatric Oncology Program, the West Michigan Aviation Academy, and more.
“…over one million children are now in the school of their parents’ choice, instead of being trapped by their zip code in a school that failed to meet their needs.”
“As chairman of the American Federation for Children (AFC), the nation’s leading school choice advocacy group, DeVos has been a national leader in the fight to boldly reform America’s broken education system by giving parents more options for their children’s education,” her website states. “As a result of AFC’s work, over one million children are now in the school of their parents’ choice, instead of being trapped by their zip code in a school that failed to meet their needs.”
She has served on the “board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education and has regularly mentored through Kids Hope USA, an organization that connects adult mentors in local churches with at-risk elementary students for at least an hour a week.”
The Secretary’s political involvement has spanned more than 35 years, beginning with her time as a volunteer for President Gerald R. Ford in 1976. Her political service has included numerous Republican leadership roles with campaigns, party organizations and political action committees—many with a focus on education choice and reform.
When asked to reveal her ‘superpower’ in 2015, DeVos said, “The ability to look really long-term, to be ‘big picture’ or visionary. I find really great people to partner with.”