Elisabeth Dee DeVos (//; née Prince; born January 8, 1958) is the 11th and current United States Secretary of Education since 2017. DeVos is a Republican known for her support for school choice, school voucher programs, and charter schools. She was Republican National Committeewoman for Michigan from 1992 to 1997 and served as chair of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000, with reelection to the post in 2003. She has advocated for the Detroit charter school system, and is a former member of the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. She has served as chair of the board of the Alliance for School Choice and the Acton Institute and headed the All Children Matter PAC.
DeVos is married to Dick DeVos, the former CEO of the multi-level marketing company Amway, and is the daughter-in-law of Amway’s billionaire co-founder, Richard DeVos. Her brother, Erik Prince, a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer, is the founder of Blackwater USA. Their father is Edgar Prince, founder of the Prince Corporation. In 2016, the DeVos family was listed by Forbes as the 88th-richest in America, with an estimated net worth of $5.4 billion.
On November 23, 2016, then-President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education in his administration. On January 31, following strong opposition to the nomination from Democrats, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions approved her nomination on a party-line vote, sending her nomination to the Senate floor. On February 7, 2017, she was confirmed by the Senate by a 51–50 margin, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie in favor of her nomination. This was the first time in U.S. history that a Cabinet nominee’s confirmation was decided by the Vice President’s tiebreaking vote.
DeVos was born Elisabeth Prince on January 8, 1958. She grew up in Holland, Michigan, the eldest of four children born to Elsa (Zwiep) Prince (later, Broekhuizen) and Edgar Prince, a billionaire industrialist of Dutch ancestry. Edgar was the founder of Prince Corporation, an automobile parts supplier based in Holland, Michigan.
DeVos was educated at the Holland Christian High School, a private school located in her home town of Holland, Michigan. She graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics in 1979. During college, DeVos was involved with campus politics, volunteered for Gerald Ford’s presidential campaign, and attended the 1976 Republican National Convention to participate in a program for young Republicans.
DeVos grew up as a member of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She has been a member and elder of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids. Former Fuller Seminary president Richard Mouw, with whom DeVos served on a committee, said she is influenced by Dutch neo-Calvinist theologian Abraham Kuyper, a founding figure in Christian Democracy political ideology.
Since 1982, DeVos has participated in the Michigan Republican Party. She served as a local precinct delegate for the Michigan Republican Party, having been elected for 16 consecutive two-year terms since 1986. She was a Republican National Committeewoman for Michigan between 1992 and 1997, and served as chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000. In 2004, the Lansing State Journal described DeVos as “a political pit bull for most of [Gov. Jennifer] Granholm‘s 16 months in office,” and said that if DeVos was not Granholm’s “worst nightmare,” she was “certainly her most persistent”. Bill Ballenger, editor of the newsletter Inside Michigan Politics and a former Republican state senator, called DeVos “a good behind-the-scenes organizer and a good fund raiser” as well as “a true believer in core Republican issues that leave nobody in doubt on where she stands”. DeVos resigned the position in 2000. She said in 2000, “It is clear I have never been a rubber stamp … I have been a fighter for the grassroots, and following is admittedly not my strong suit.” In 2003, DeVos ran again for party chairman and was elected to the post without opposition.
DeVos personally raised more than $150,000 for the 2004 Bush re-election campaign, and hosted a Republican fundraiser at her home in October 2008 that was headlined by President George W. Bush. During the Bush Administration, she spent two years as the finance chairperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and worked closely with the Administration on “various projects”. The DeVos family has been active in Republican politics for decades, particularly as donors to candidates and the party, giving more than $17 million to political candidates and committees since 1989.
In a 1997 op-ed for Roll Call, DeVos wrote that she expects results from her political contributions. “I know a little something about soft money, as my family is the largest single contributor of soft money to the national Republican party. Occasionally a wayward reporter will try to make the charge that we are giving this money to get something in return, or that we must be purchasing influence in some way,” DeVos wrote. “Now I simply concede the point. They are right. We do expect some things in return. We expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues. We expect a return on our investment; we expect a good and honest government. Furthermore, we expect the Republican party to use the money to promote these policies, and yes, to win elections.”
2016 U.S. presidential election
During the Republican Party presidential primaries for the 2016 election, DeVos initially donated to Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina before eventually supporting Marco Rubio. In March 2016, DeVos described Donald Trump as an “interloper” and said that he “does not represent the Republican Party”. At the 2016 Republican National Convention, DeVos was an at-large delegate and cast her vote for John Kasich.
DeVos is chairwoman of the Windquest Group, a privately held operating group that invests in technology, manufacturing, and clean energy. DeVos and her husband founded it in 1989. With a commitment of $100 million, Betsy DeVos was one of the largest investors—and losers—in blood-testing company Theranos.
DeVos and her husband were producers for a Broadway run of the stage play Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, in 2012, based on the life of the famous evangelist and featuring a book and lyrics written by Kathie Lee Gifford. The show ran for three weeks, closing in December 2012 after receiving negative reviews.
Betsy and her husband Dick are chief investors in and board members of Neurocore, a group of brain performance centers offering biofeedback therapy for disorders such as depression, attention deficit disorder, autism, and anxiety. The therapy consists of showing movies to patients and interrupting them when they become distracted, in an effort to retrain their brains. According to The New York Times, a review of Neurocore’s claims and interviews with medical experts suggest that the company’s conclusions are unproven and its methods questionable. Democratic senators raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest and questioned whether she and her family members would “benefit financially from actions” she could take as education secretary. DeVos announced that she would step down from the company’s board but would retain her investment in the company, valued at $5 million to $25 million.
U.S. Secretary of Education
On November 23, 2016, Trump’s transition team announced DeVos as the nominee to be the next Secretary of Education. Upon her nomination, DeVos said “I am honored to work with the President-elect on his vision to make American education great again. The status quo in ed is not acceptable.” DeVos’s nomination was generally criticized by teachers unions and praised by supporters of school choice.
Detroit Free Press editorial page editor Stephen Henderson expressed concerns over DeVos’s nomination, writing that “DeVos isn’t an educator, or an education leader”. Rebecca Mead of The New Yorker questioned the efficacy of Michigan’s charter school system, which DeVos has supported. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, called DeVos “the most ideological, anti-public education nominee” since the position became a cabinet position. The Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Michigan Democratic Party opposed DeVos’s nomination.
Former presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney respectively called DeVos an “outstanding pick” and a “smart choice”. Republican Senator Ben Sasse said DeVos “has made a career out of standing up to powerful and connected special interests on behalf of poor kids who are too often forgotten by Washington”. In an opinion editorial, the Chicago Tribune wrote that “DeVos has helped lead the national battle to expand education opportunities for children”.
The confirmation hearing for DeVos was initially scheduled for January 10, 2017, but was delayed for one week after the Office of Government Ethics requested more time to review her financial disclosures. On January 17, 2017 the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held the hearing, which lasted three-and-one-half hours and “quickly became a heated and partisan debate”. Democratic senators directed several questions toward her regarding her wealth, including questions about her family’s political donations to the Republican Party and whether or not she had personal experience with financial aid or student loans. Several media outlets reported that DeVos appeared to have plagiarized quotes from an Obama administration official in written answers submitted to the Senate committee. DeVos drew widespread media attention during the confirmation hearings for suggesting that guns might have a place in some schools due to a threat from grizzly bears. DeVos’s comment was later lampooned by television personalities Kate McKinnon on Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and James Corden.
Prior to DeVos’s confirmation, numerous U.S. Senators from both parties reported tens of thousands of their constituents having contacted their offices in opposition to the confirmation of DeVos. More than 300 state lawmakers from across the U.S., overwhelmingly Democrats, voiced their opposition to DeVos’s appointment in a letter to the U.S. Senate sent the day before a scheduled vote on her nomination. DeVos’s nomination was supported by 18 Republican governors, including John Kasich and Rick Snyder, along with the nine Republican members of Congress from Michigan.
Debate and final vote
On January 31, DeVos’s nomination was approved by the committee on a 12–11 party-line vote and was due to be voted on by the Senate. Later on February 1, 2017, two Republican U.S. Senators, Susan Collins from Maine and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, came out against the confirmation (despite supporting DeVos in committee when both of them voted to move her nomination to the floor), bringing the predicted confirmation vote on DeVos to 50–50 if all Democrats and independents voted as expected, meaning Vice President Mike Pence would have to break the tie. During an unusually early 6:30 a.m. vote on February 3, 2017, cloture was invoked on DeVos’s nomination in the Senate, requiring a final vote on the confirmation to happen after 30 hours of debate.
Ahead of the scheduled final vote at noon on February 7, 2017, the Democrats in the Senate continuously spoke on the floor against the confirmation of DeVos the entire night before leading up to the vote, in protest of their strong disapproval of the nominee. As expected, there was a 50–50 tie on the final vote, with all Democrats and independents, along with two Republicans (Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski), voting in opposition to DeVos, while the other fifty Republican senators voted in support of the confirmation, including Senator Jeff Sessions, who himself had been nominated by the Trump administration for the post of United States Attorney General. Republicans scheduled Sessions’s confirmation vote after DeVos’s so that he would be able to cast his vote in support of DeVos. Had his confirmation vote been earlier than hers, he would have been forced to resign from the Senate, therefore losing a vital vote for the Republicans on the confirmation. Since there was a tie, Vice President Mike Pence had to step in to decide the vote as the President of the Senate. He cast his tie-breaking vote in favor of DeVos to officially confirm her as education secretary. This was the first tie decided by a vice president on any vote in the Senate since the George W. Bush administration.
DeVos has been a polarizing figure through out her tenure. In her first official appearance as Secretary on February 10, 2017, dozens of protesters showed up to prevent her appearance. The protesters physically blocked her from entering through the back entrance of Jefferson Academy, a D.C. public middle school in Southwest, Washington, D.C. DeVos was eventually able to enter the school through a side entrance. Subsequent to the incident, the U.S. Marshals Service, rather than Education Department employees, began providing security for her. Education Department officials declined requests for information about the deployment of marshals or the current tasks of the Secretary’s displaced security team normally assigned to her. Many of those security personnel are former Secret Service agents who have worked at the department for many years. Regarding the withdrawal of the department’s team, former Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, “That’s a waste of taxpayer money,” Duncan said of the use of U.S. Marshals. DeVos said that on the basis of her first few days in the job, she had concerns that some Education Department employees were sympathetic to the Obama administration. “I . . . would not be surprised if there are also those that would try to subvert the mission of this organization and this department,” she stated. Asked what she could do about that, she said, “Whatever can be done will be done, and it will be done swiftly and surely.” During her first visit to a public university on April 6, 2017, DeVos was confronted by around 30 protestors. She was touring an area designed to resemble a hospital ward at Florida International University. The following day, the U.S. Marshals Service said after a threat evaluation was conducted in February that DeVos would be given additional security, projecting a cost of $7.8 million between February and September.
On March 24, 2017, during a visit to the Osceola County campus of Valencia College, DeVos said she was considering the extension of federal financial aid for students that were year-round and interested in placing more focus on community colleges.
In April 2017, DeVos named Candice Jackson Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department’s Office for Civil Rights, where she will be acting Assistant Secretary while that higher, Senate-confirmed appointment is vacant. DeVos named Jason Botel Deputy Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. Botel, a registered Democrat who supported President Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement, founded the KIPP Ujima Village Academy in Baltimore, after working for Teach For America.
On May 10, 2017, DeVos gave a commencement speech at Bethune–Cookman University, a historically black college, and during her speech a majority of the students booed DeVos, with about half of them standing up and turning their backs to her. She also received an honorary doctorate from Bethune–Cookman University. In February, DeVos had released a statement calling historically black colleges “real pioneers when it comes to school choice”, causing controversy as some pointed out the schools originated after segregation laws prevented African-Americans from attending others. DeVos later acknowledged racism as an important factor in the history of historically black colleges.
DeVos delivered her first extended policy address on March 29, 2017 at the Brookings Institution which included the topic of school choice which has been her main advocacy issue for more than 30 years. She stated an interest in implementing choice policies directed toward children as individuals and criticizing the Obama administration’s additional funding of $7 billion for the U.S.’s worst-performing schools as “throwing money at the problem” in an attempt to find a solution. On May 22, 2017, DeVos announced the Trump administration was offering “the most ambitious expansion” of school choice within American history. DeVos cited Indiana (which has the U.S.’s largest school voucher program) as a potential model for a nationwide policy, but did not give specific proposals. In a May 2017 House of Representatives committee hearing, Rep. Katherine Clark, said an Indiana private school which takes publicly funded vouchers maintains it is entitled to deny admission to LGBT students or those coming from families with “homosexual or bisexual activity.” Clark asked if she would inform Indiana that it could not discriminate in that way if it accepted federal funding, and asked her how she would respond in the event a voucher school rejected black students but a state “said it was okay.” DeVos answered: “Well again, the Office of Civil Rights and our Title IX protections are broadly applicable across the board, but when it comes to parents making choices on behalf of their students…” Clark stopped her saying, “This isn’t about parents making choices, this is about the use of federal dollars. Is there any situation? Would you say to Indiana, that school cannot discriminate against LGBT students if you want to receive federal dollars? Or would you say the state has the flexibility?” DeVos responded: “I believe states should continue to have flexibility in putting together programs …” CBS reporter Lesley Stahl questioned her, in a March 2018 60 Minutes interview, about the documented failure of the DeVos programs to demonstrate a positive result, in Michigan, her home state: “Your argument that if you take funds away that the schools will get better is not working in Michigan … where you had a huge impact and influence over the direction of the school system.” Stahl added, “The public schools here are doing worse than they did.” DeVos was unable to provide any actual examples of improvement, but stated there were “pockets” where schools had done better than public schools.
On June 6, 2017, DeVos said states’ rights would determine private schools being allocated funds by the federal government during an appearance before members of a House appropriations committee.
On July 6, 2017, Democratic attorneys-general in 18 states and Washington, D.C., led by Massachusetts’ attorney-general Maura Healey, filed a federal lawsuit against DeVos for suspending the implementation of rules that were meant to protect students attending for-profit colleges. The rules, developed during the Obama administration, were meant to take effect on July 1, 2017.
On July 13, 2017, Candice Jackson, who is a sexual assault survivor, organized a meeting with DeVos, college sexual assault victims, accused assailants, and higher education officials, and said she would look at policies on sexual assault accusations on campuses from the Obama administration to see if accused students were treated within their rights. Asked by CBS 60 Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl about her repeal of Obama administration guidelines for colleges dealing with reports of sexual assaults, she said her concern was for men falsely accused of such assaults. “Survivors, victims of a lack of due process, and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved,” said DeVos. However, some survivors of sexual assault and harassment and organizations which advocate on their behalf oppose the changes and say they would make schools more dangerous.
In October 2017, DeVos revoked 72 guidance documents of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services which outlined the rights of disabled students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
In a January 2018 speech, Devos said that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) found that “60 percent of its teachers reported having moderate to no influence over the content and skills taught in their own classrooms.” In response, AFT noted that in the same survey of around 5,000 educators, 86% felt that Devos had disrespected them.
In March 2018, DeVos announced a School Safety Commission, to provide meaningful and actionable recommendations. Members were four Cabinet members, including herself. The organization held a meeting on March 28 and a gathering of school shooting survivors and families on April 17.
In mid-May 2018, The New York Times reported that under DeVos, the size of the team investigating abuses and fraud by for-profit colleges was reduced from about twelve members under the Obama administration to three, with their task also being scaled back to “processing student loan forgiveness applications and looking at smaller compliance cases”. DeVos also appointed Julian Schmoke as the team’s new supervisor; Schmoke was a former dean of DeVry Education Group, which was one of the institutions the team had been investigating. The investigation into DeVry was not the only one stopped, others include those of Bridgepoint Education and Career Education Corporation. The Education Department has hired more ex-employees and people affiliated with those institutions, such as Robert S. Eitel, senior counselor to DeVos, Diane Auer Jones, an advisor to the Department, and Carlos G. Muñiz, the Department’s general counsel. Also reported by several news outlets was a sequence of payments made by DeVry to the DeVos Foundation.
In late May 2018, Devos said that she believed it was “a school decision” on whether to report a student’s family to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if the student or their family are undocumented immigrants. However, under Plyler v. Doe, the American Supreme Court ruled under the American constitution, schools are obligated to provide schooling irrespective of immigration status. The American Civil Liberties Union has said that because of this, it would be unconstitutional for schools to report students or their families to ICE.
On September 12, 2018 DeVos lost the lawsuit brought by 19 states and the District of Columbia, which accused the Department of Education of improperly delaying implementation of regulations protecting student loan borrowers from predatory practices. In 2019, DeVos unsuccessfully attempted to cut federal funding for the Special Olympics from her department’s budget, which she had also attempted to cut in her previous two annual budgets.
In May 2019, the Education Department Inspector General released a report concluding that DeVos had used personal email accounts to conduct government business and that she did not properly preserve these emails.
Philanthropy and activism
The Prince Foundation
DeVos was listed for many years on IRS form Form 990s as the foundation’s vice president (hitherto called the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation). However, she testified under oath in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing, in response to Senator Maggie Hassan‘s questions, that she had nothing to do with the contributions made by her mother’s foundation to conservative advocacy groups including Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.
Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation
The Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation was launched in 1989. The foundation’s giving, according to its website, is motivated by faith, and “is centered in cultivating leadership, accelerating transformation and leveraging support in five areas”, namely education, community, arts, justice, and leadership. In 2015, the DeVos Foundation made $11.6 million in charitable contributions, bringing the couple’s lifetime charitable giving to $139 million. Forbes ranked the DeVos family No. 24 on its 2015 list of America’s top givers.
The DeVos Foundation has donated to hospitals, health research, arts organizations, Christian schools, evangelical missions, and conservative, free-market think tanks. Of the $100 million the foundation donated between 1999 until 2014, half of it went to Christian organizations. Organizations funded by the foundation include: Michigan’s Foundation for Traditional Values; Center for Individual Rights; Acton Institute; Institute for Justice; Center for Individual Rights; Michigan’s Pregnancy Resource Center; Right to Life Michigan Educational Fund; and Baptists for Life.
With respect to educational-focused donations, the foundation from 1999 to 2014 supported private Christian schools (at least $8.6 million), charter schools ($5.2 million), and public schools ($59,750). Specific donations included $2.39 million to the Grand Rapids Christian High School Association, $652,000 to the Ada Christian School, and $458,000 to Holland Christian Schools.
When DeVos was appointed US Education Secretary, it was revealed that she was an elder at Mars Hill Bible Church. During her tenure, she reportedly donated $431,000 to the church between 2002 and 2004 and $453,349 to Flannel, producer of the NOOMA video series.
DeVos was appointed by President George W. Bush to the board of directors of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2004, and served until 2010. While she was on the board, she and her husband funded a center to teach arts managers and boards of directors how to fundraise and manage their cultural institutions. The couple donated $22.5 million in 2010 to continue the endeavor, which was given in the name of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management.
After the announcement of the DeVoses’ gift to the Kennedy Center, DeVos explained that she had been persuaded by Kennedy Center official Michael Kaiser‘s observation that millions of dollars are invested “in the arts, and training artists”, but not in “training the leaders who hire the artists and run the organizations”. The DeVoses’ gift was intended to remedy this oversight. “We want to help develop human capital and leverage that capital to the greatest extent possible”, she said, describing Kaiser’s “practice and approach” as “practical, realistic and creative”. The DeVoses’ gift, part of which would be spent on arts groups in Michigan that had been hit hard by the recession, was the largest private donation in the Kennedy Center’s history.
In 2009, Betsy DeVos’s son Rick DeVos founded ArtPrize, an international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As of 2016 approximately 16 percent of ArtPrize’s $3.5 million annual budget was provided by various foundations run by the DeVos family, with the rest provided by other foundations and local and national businesses.
DeVos in 2001 listed education activism and reform efforts as a means to “advance God’s Kingdom“. In an interview that year, she also said that “changing the way we approach … the system of education in the country … really may have greater Kingdom gain in the long run”.
DeVos believes education in the United States should encourage the proliferation of charter schools and open up private schools to more students via financial assistance programs, often called vouchers. She has stated that education is “a closed system, a closed industry, a closed market. It’s a monopoly, a dead end.” DeVos believes that opening up the education market will offer parents increased choice, a view that critics call a drive to privatize the American public education system.
DeVos is known as a “a fierce proponent of school vouchers” that would allow students to attend private schools with public funding. According to The New York Times, it “is hard to find anyone more passionate about the idea of steering public dollars away from traditional public schools than Betsy DeVos”.
DeVos served as chairwoman of the board of Alliance for School Choice. Until November 2016, she headed the All Children Matter PAC which she and her husband founded in 2003 to promote school vouchers, tax credits to businesses that give private school scholarships, and candidates who support these causes. DeVos and her husband gave millions of dollars to the organization. In 2008, All Children Matter was fined $5.2 million in Ohio for illegally laundering money into political campaign funds. DeVos was not named in the case. The fine remained unpaid as of 2017, prompting calls by Democratic Party lawmakers for DeVos to settle the debt.
Her other activities on behalf of public-school reform have included membership on the boards of directors of the Advocates for School Choice, the American Education Reform Council, and the Education Freedom Fund. She has chaired the boards of Choices for Children, and Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP).
DeVos was chair of the American Federation for Children (AFC). Affiliated with the Alliance for School Choice, the AFC describes itself as “a leading national advocacy organization promoting school choice, with a specific focus on advocating for school vouchers and scholarship tax credit programs”.
During the 1990s, she served on the boards of Children First America and the American Education Reform Council, which sought to expand school choice through vouchers and tax credits. She and her husband worked for the successful passage of Michigan’s first charter-school bill in 1993, and for the unsuccessful effort in 2000 to amend Michigan’s constitution to allow tax-credit scholarships or vouchers. In response to that defeat, DeVos started a PAC, the Great Lakes Education Project, which championed charter schools. DeVos’s husband and John Walton then founded All Children Matter, a political organization, which she chaired.
Detroit charter school system
DeVos has been an advocate for the Detroit charter school system. Douglas N. Harris, professor of economics at Tulane University, wrote in a 2016 The New York Times op-ed that DeVos was partly responsible for “what even charter advocates acknowledge is the biggest school reform disaster in the country”. In the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Detroit had the lowest reading and mathematics scores “by far” over any city participating in the evaluation. According to Harris, she designed a system with no oversight in which schools that do poorly can continue to enroll students.
Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review argued that Harris overstates the failure of charter schools in Detroit. According to Ponnuru, the study referenced by Harris, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, did “not sound nearly as helpful to Harris’s case as he suggests”. Ponnuru pointed out that the study says “some 47 percent of charter schools in Detroit significantly outperform[ed] traditional public schools in reading and 49 percent of charters significantly outperforming traditionals on math. Only one percent of charters were significantly outperformed by traditional public schools in reading and only 7 percent on math.” Also defending DeVos’s record in Michigan, Jay P. Greene, professor of education policy at the University of Arkansas, argued that Harris’s The New York Times article misled readers on the evidence and “falsely claimed that Detroit has failed to close failing charter schools”, noting that Detroit has closed more charters than Louisiana, a state Harris cites as a model for charter school legislation.
In a written response to a question about charter school performance posed during DeVos’s confirmation hearing by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), asking “why do you think their performance is so poor?”, DeVos defended the charter school system using graduation rates that were significantly higher than those used for state and federal accountability purposes. DeVos provided examples of several charter schools that she said had 4-year graduation exceeding 90%. These examples were contested by Columbia University professor Aaron Pallas and Education Week reporter Ben Herold on the basis that the actual graduation rates were roughly only half as large as DeVos had stated.
DeVos and Joel Klein said in a May 2013 op-ed that residents of Maine “are now given information on school performance using easy-to-understand report cards with the same A, B, C, D and F designations used in student grades“. This system, they argued, “truly motivates parents and the community to get involved by simply taking information that education officials have had for years and presenting it in a way that is more easily understood.”
Betsy and Dick DeVos Scholars for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Scholarship
The DeVoses have also established an annual scholarship, called the Betsy and Dick DeVos Scholars for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Scholarship, which is awarded to students earning a BBA or combined BBA/MBA at Northwood University.
Foundation for Excellence in Education
DeVos is a former member of the board of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd), a think tank founded by Jeb Bush whose stated goal is to “build an American education system that equips every child to achieve his or her God-given potential”.
DeVos has been played by Kate McKinnon on Saturday Night Live multiple times, including satirizing DeVos’ 60 Minutes interview in March 2018. That same month, Randy Rainbow created a satirical “interview” with DeVos based off the 60 Minutes interview, with Out stating, “It goes about as well as you’d expect it to.”
DeVos was depicted by drag queen Scarlet Envy on the March 21, 2019 episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11 titled “Trump: The Rusical.” Scarlet Envy depicted DeVos as “silly” and “martini-swilling.”
The DeVos family is one of Michigan’s wealthiest. Betsy DeVos’s husband, Richard Marvin “Dick” DeVos Jr., is a multi-billionaire heir to the Amway fortune who ran Amway’s parent company, Alticor, from 1993 to 2002. Dick DeVos is a major donor to conservative political campaigns and social causes, and was the 2006 Republican nominee for Governor of Michigan. They married in 1979, and have four grown children: Rick, Elissa, Andrea, and Ryan. Rick works for the Windquest Group as a consultant on urban development, and is the founder of Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize festival. Dick’s father, Richard Marvin DeVos Sr., co-founded Amway and was the owner of the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team. Richard DeVos was listed by Forbes in 2016 as having a net worth of $5.1 billion, making him America’s 88th wealthiest individual.
In August 2018, a vandal untied DeVos’s $40 million yacht that had been moored at a marina on Lake Erie, causing it to sustain $10,000 in damages. The 163-foot-long (50 m) vessel is one of ten yachts owned by her family, which has a net worth of $5.3 billion. The craft is registered in the Cayman Islands, so is not subject to state property tax.
- Miller, Emily McFarlan (February 7, 2017). “Betsy DeVos: 5 faith facts to know about the Education secretary”. USA Today. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
DeVos grew up in the Christian Reformed Church and graduated from schools affiliated with the tradition: Holland Christian Schools in Holland, Mich., and Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Pulliam Bailey, Sarah (November 23, 2016). “Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education pick, is a billionaire with deep ties to the Christian Reformed community”. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- Wermund, Benjamin (December 2, 2016). “Trump’s education pick says reform can ‘advance God’s Kingdom‘“. Politico. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
- Stewart, Katherine (December 13, 2016). “Betsy DeVos and God’s Plan for Schools”. The New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
- Stanton, Zack (January 15, 2017). “How Betsy DeVos Used God and Amway to Take Over Michigan Politics”. Politico. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
- Ponnuru, Ramesh (November 28, 2016). “DeVos and Detroit’s Charter Schools”. National Review. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
- Zernike, Kate (June 28, 2016). “A Sea of Charter Schools in Detroit Leaves Students Adrift”. The New York Times. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
- “Trump’s education secretary pick led group that owes millions in election fines”. POLITICO. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Peterson-Withorn, Chase (November 23, 2016). “Trump Picks Betsy DeVos, Daughter-in-Law of Billionaire Amway Cofounder, for Education Secretary”. Forbes. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- “How Betsy DeVos Could Fix America’s Broken Education System”. The New Hampshire Review. January 22, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- Scahill, Jeremy (2008). Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Arm. Nation Books. ASIN B0097CYTYA.Prince, Erik (2014). Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror. Portfolio. ISBN 978-1-59184-745-8.
- ““Edgar D. Prince”. New Netherland Institute.
- Benjamin Wermund and Kimberly Hefling (November 25, 2016). “Trump’s education secretary pick supported anti-gay causes“. Politico. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
- “2016 Forbes 400”. Forbes. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Brown, Emma (November 23, 2016). “Trump picks billionaire Betsy DeVos, school voucher advocate, as education secretary”. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
- Hagen, Lisa (January 31, 2017). “Senate committee approves DeVos nomination”. The Hill. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) on Tuesday morning approved Betsy DeVos’s nomination to lead the Department of Education. DeVos was confirmed 12–11 along party lines.
- Hutterman, Emmarie (February 7, 2017). “Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary; Pence Breaks Tie”. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- Elving, Ron (February 7, 2017). “Pence Becomes First VP to Break Senate Tie over Cabinet Nomination”. NPR. Washington, D.C. Archived from the original on February 7, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- Huetteman, Emmarie (February 7, 2017). “Mike Pence’s Vote on a Cabinet Nominee Would Be Historic”. The New York Times. New York. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- Scahill, Jeremy (2007). Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. New York, NY: Perseus Books/Nation Books. pp. 2–8.
- Shandra Martinez (September 8, 2010). “Amway heir Dick and Betsy DeVos move into sprawling 22,000-square-foot mansion”. The Grand Rapids Press. MLive.com. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- “Edgar D. Prince”. www.newnetherlandinstitute.org. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
- Mead, Rebecca (December 14, 2016). “Betsy DeVos and the Plan to Break Public Schools”. The New Yorker. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Toppo, Greg (February 7, 2017). “What you need to know about Betsy DeVos”. USA Today. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
- Philanthropy Staff (2013). “Interview with Betsy DeVos, the Reformer” (print and online). Philanthropy. Washington, D.C.: Philanthropy Roundtable (Spring). Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Boston, Rob (September 2010). “Michigan Multi-Millionaire Betsy DeVos Is A Four-Star General in a Deceptive Behind-The-Scenes War on Public Schools And Church-State Separation”. Church & State.
- Sanneh, Kalefa. “The Hell-Raiser”. The New Yorker. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- Kaplan Sommer, Allison. “Onward Christian Cabinet: Trump’s White House Picks Are a Christmas Gift for the Religious Right”. Haaretz. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- “U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Statement for Completion by Executive Branch Nominees”. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
- Gordon, Neil. “Profiles: Organizational Donor: Elizabeth DeVos”. PublicIntegrity.org, The Center For Public Integrity. May 26, 2005
- “Affirmative action initiative poses problems for politicians”. The State News. East Lansing, Michigan. August 23, 2003. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Steve Benen (September 2000). “Voters in California And Michigan Face Referenda on Voucher Aid To Religious Schools”. Church & State. Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Andrews, Chris (April 24, 2004). “Leading the Charge”. Lansing State Journal. p. 1A.
- Medema, Kate (February 7, 2003). “DeVos starts fresh, familiar position”. Chimes. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Calvin College. 97 (16). Archived from the original on May 7, 2004. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- “Michigan Gubernatorial Candidate Urges Bush to Meet With Big Three Automakers”. FoxNews.com. The Associated Press. August 24, 2006. Archived from the original on April 20, 2007. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Chris Christoff (October 15, 2008). “Bush attends fund-raiser in Grand Rapids”. The Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on October 18, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- “Standing for Change”. TheGathering.com. Tyler, Texas: The Gathering. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- Mark Tower (December 17, 2016), DeVos family political giving nears $10 million prior to 2016 election, MLive Media Group, Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- David Smith (November 23, 2016), Betsy DeVos, billionaire philanthropist, picked as Trump education secretary, The Guardian, retrieved January 4, 2017.
- DeVos, Betsy (September 7, 1997). “Soft Money Is Good: ‘Hard-Earned American Dollars That Big Brother Has Yet to Find a Way to Control‘“. Roll Call.
- Deruy, Emily (January 17, 2017). “What Betsy DeVos Did (and Didn’t) Reveal About Her Education Priorities”. The Atlantic. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
- Gibbons, Lauren (July 21, 2016). “Betsy DeVos still looking for a reason to support Donald Trump”. MLive.com. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
- “Betsy DeVos Lost More on Theranos than the Average American Will Make in 100 Lifetimes”. Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
- “Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimée Semple McPherson Broadway @ Neil Simon Theatre – Tickets and Discounts”. Playbill. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Suskin, Steven (November 16, 2012). “Review: ‘Scandalous‘“. Variety. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- Isherwood, Charles (November 15, 2012). “Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- Fink, Sheri (January 30, 2017). “Betsy DeVos Invests in a Therapy Under Scrutiny”. The New York Times. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- Brown, Emma (January 24, 2017). “Grade Point Betsy DeVos’s ethics review raises further questions for Democrats and watchdogs”. Washington Post. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- Zeliadat, Nicholette (February 1, 2017). “Pick for U.S. education secretary rankles autism community”. Spectrum. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- Goldstein, Matthew (January 20, 2017). “Betsy DeVos Won’t Shed Stake in Biofeedback Company, Filings Show”. The New York Times. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- Brown, Emma (January 23, 2017). “Democrats request another hearing for DeVos, Trump’s education pick, before confirmation vote”. Washington Post. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- Mark, genera (November 25, 2016). “Meet Betsy DeVos, the polarizing charter-school advocate Trump has tapped as education secretary”. Business Insider. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- “Why is Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for education secretary, so unpopular?”. BBC News. February 5, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- Henderson, Stephen (December 3, 2016). “Betsy DeVos and the twilight of public education”. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- Zernike, Kate (November 23, 2016). “Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Pick, Has Steered Money From Public Schools”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- Romney, Mitt (January 9, 2017). “Mitt Romney op-ed: Betsy DeVos a smart choice for education secretary”. Washington Post. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- “Editorial: The case for Betsy DeVos”. Chicago Tribune. December 1, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- Revesz, Rachael (January 10, 2017). “Betsy DeVos’ senate confirmation delayed amid concerns over her political donations”. The Independent. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- “Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for education secretary, open to defunding public schools”. NBC News. January 17, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
- Zernike, Kate; Alcindor, Yamiche. “Betsy DeVos’s Education Hearing Erupts into Partisan Debate”. The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- Associated Press (January 31, 2017). “DeVos May Have Used Official’s Remarks Without Attribution”. Washington Post. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- Merica, Dan; Scott, Eugene (January 31, 2017). “Betsy DeVos appears to have plagiarized quotes for Senate questionnaire”. CNN. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- “Senate confirms Betsy DeVos as Education secretary as Pence breaks 50–50 tie”. San Diego Union Tribune. February 7, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- Wong, Alia (February 7, 2017). “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Has Already Affected Public Education”. The Atlantic. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- “Betsy DeVos squeaks through as Education secretary after Pence casts first-ever tie-breaking vote”. Los Angeles Times. February 7, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- Blistein, Jon (January 19, 2017). “Watch Colbert, Kimmel, Corden Mock Betsy DeVos’ Grizzly Bear Fears”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- Barrett, Malachi (February 5, 2017). “‘Saturday Night Live’ jabs Betsy DeVos in Sean Spicer skit”. MLive. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- Brown, Emma (January 19, 2017). “With lightning speed, Betsy DeVos became a target of late-night comics”. Washington Post. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- Wheeler, Lydia; Shelbourne, Mallory. “Anti-Devos calls jam Senate phone lines”. The Hill. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- Brown, Emma (January 30, 2017). “Progressives launch last-minute push against Betsy DeVos, and conservatives counter with online ad campaign”. Washington Post. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
- Nann Burke, Melissa (January 30, 2017). “Vote on DeVos looms as Democrats raise more concerns”. The Detroit News. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
- Burke, Melissa Nann. “Senate panel OKs DeVos despite 2 GOP senators’ concerns”. The Detroit News. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
- Carney, Jordain. “Two GOP senators to vote ‘no’ on Betsy DeVos”. The Hill. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- Carney, Jordain. “Senate advances DeVos’s nomination, setting her up for final vote”. The Hill. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
- Carney, Jordain. “Democrats plan all-night protest ahead of DeVos vote”. The Hill. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- Resmovits, Joy. “Betsy DeVos squeaks through as Education secretary after Pence casts first-ever tie-breaking vote”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- Revesz, Rachael. “Betsy DeVos confirmed: Trump education pick stumbles over finishing line after Mike Pence casts tie-breaking vote”. The Independent. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- Schleifer, Theodore. “Republicans need Jeff Sessions to stay in the Senate just a little longer”. CNN. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- Cowan, Richard. “Vice President Mike Pence breaks Senate tie to confirm Betsy DeVos as US education secretary”. Reuters. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- HUETTEMAN, EMMARIE. “Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary; Pence Breaks Tie”. The New York Times. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- “DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary, Pence Casts Historic Tie-Breaking Vote”. Fox News. February 7, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- Michael Strafford, Caitlin Emma, Kimberly Heffling (February 7, 2017). “Senate confirms DeVos as secretary of education”. Politico. Retrieved February 8, 2017.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Binkley, Collin (May 6, 2019). “Polarizing but enduring Cabinet member: Education head DeVos”. AP NEWS. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
- Brown, Emma (February 10, 2017). “Protesters briefly block Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s visit to a D.C. school”. The Washington Post. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Firozi, Paulina (February 10, 2017). “Protesters block DeVos from entering DC school”. The Hill. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Stratford, Michael (February 10, 2017). “Protesters block DeVos from entering D.C. middle school”. Politico. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- [https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/betsy-devos-is-now-being-guarded-by-us-marshals/2017/02/17/7dc341f4-f54b-11e6-8d72-263470bf0401_story.html Betsy DeVos being guarded by U.S. Marshals Service The Washington Post, Danielle Douglas-Gabriel & Emma Brown, February 17, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
- Svrluga, Susan (April 6, 2017). “In Miami, DeVos visits first public university since becoming education secretary, faces protesters”. Washington Post.
- “Additional Security for DeVos May Cost Up to $7.8 Million”. The New York Times. April 7, 2017.
- Russon, Gabrielle (March 24, 2017). “Education Secretary Betsy Devos tours Valencia campus in Osceola”. Orlando Sentinel.
- Gabriel, Danielle Douglas (April 11, 2017). “Betsy DeVos undoes Obama’s student loan protections”. Chicago Tribune.
- Green, Erica L. (April 5, 2017). “2 Education Dept. Picks Raise Fears on Civil Rights Enforcement”. The New York Times. p. A11. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- Green, Erica L. (June 3, 2017). “Some Hires by Betsy DeVos Are a Stark Departure From Her Reputation”. The New York Times. p. A12. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- Susan Svrluga (May 10, 2017). “Students boo Betsy DeVos as commencement speaker at historically black university”. The Washington Post.
- Wermund, Benjamin (February 28, 2017). “DeVos sparks controversy with comments on black colleges”. CNN. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Green, Erica L. (March 29, 2017). “Betsy DeVos Calls for More School Choice, Saying Money Isn’t the Answer”. The New York Times.
- Danilova, Maria (May 22, 2017). “Betsy DeVos pushes school choice in speech to advocacy group, gives no specifics”. Denver Post.
- Analysis: 9 controversial – and highly revealing – things Betsy DeVos has said, Chicago Tribune, Valerie Strauss, March 12, Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Why it was so easy for ’60 Minutes’ to rebut Betsy DeVos’s charter-school arguments,The Washington Post, Philip Bump, March 12, Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Hensch, Mark (June 2, 2017). “DeVos: ‘Certainly, the climate changes‘“. The Hill.
- Wheeler, Lydia (June 6, 2017). “DeVos: All schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law”. The Hill.
- Cowley, Stacy (July 6, 2017). “18 States Sue Betsy DeVos Over Student Loan Protections”. The New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
- “Eighteen states sue Betsy DeVos for suspending rules on for-profit colleges”. The Guardian. Associated Press. July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- Green, Erica L.; Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (July 13, 2017). “Campus Rape Policies Get a New Look as the Accused Get DeVos’s Ear”. The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stumbles during pointed ’60 Minutes’ interview,The Washington Post, Valerie Strauss, March 12, Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- Ortiz, Eric (November 16, 2018). “DeVos proposals for campus sex misconduct rules are ‘worse than we thought,’ victims’ advocates say”. NBC News. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- Marcotte, Amanda (November 16, 2018). “Betsy DeVos moves to demolish Title IX, silence sexual abuse victims”. Salon. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- Warenik, Blake (January 2, 2019). “Betsy DeVos’ Title IX Changes Will Make Life Even Harder For Sexually Abused Boys”. Opinion. HuffPost. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- Tang, Elizabeth (November 16, 2018). “Three Reasons Why Betsy DeVos’s Proposed Title IX Rules Would Hurt Survivors”. National Women’s Law Center. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
- Smith, Tovia (January 30, 2019). “Trump Administration Gets An Earful On New Campus Sexual Assault Rules”. National Public Radio. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- Moriah Balingit, DeVos rescinds 72 guidance documents outlining rights for disabled students, The Washington Post (October 21, 2017).
- Chapman, Matthew. “Betsy DeVos accidentally promotes study showing teachers feel disrespected – by her”. Shareblue Media. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- “Secretary DeVos Forms School Safety Commission | U.S. Department of Education”. www.ed.gov. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
- “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says school safety commission will issue ‘best practices’ by year’s end”. NBC News. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
- Ivory, Danielle; Green, Erica; Eder, Steve. “Education Department Unwinds Unit Investigating Fraud at For-Profits”. The New York Times. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- Balingit, Moriah. “‘Astounding ignorance of the law’: Civil rights groups slam DeVos for saying schools can report undocumented students”. The Washington Post. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- ‘DISGRACED’ OMAROSA ‘PEDDLING LIES FOR PROFIT’ BY CLAIMING TRUMP CALLS BETSY DEVOS ‘DITZY,’ SAYS EDUCATION DEPARTMENT, Newsweek, Ramsey Touchberry, August 15, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 20918.
- “Betsy DeVos Loses Student Loan Lawsuit Brought by 19 States”. Time. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- Chris Cillizza (March 28, 2019). “Betsy DeVos’ utterly botched call for Special Olympics funding cuts, explained”. CNN.
- “DeVos used personal emails for work in ‘limited’ cases, report finds”. NBC News. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- “Trump Education nominee Betsy DeVos lied to the Senate“. The Intercept, Jeremy Scahill. January 18, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
- “About”. Grand Rapids: Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
- Docksai, Rick (March 1, 2016). “School Choice, But Much More: Making Sense of DeVos Family Philanthropy”. Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- “What We Do”. Dick and Betsy DeVos Family. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
- Martinez, Shandra (January 9, 2017). “Dick and Betsy DeVos lift the veil on their $139M in philanthropy”. MLive. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
- Savchuk, Katia (2015). “America’s Top 50 Givers: Meet the philanthropists who gave away the most money in 2015”. Forbes. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
- Rizga, Kristina (January 17, 2017). “Betsy Devos wants to use America’s schools to build “God’s kingdom““. Mother Jones. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- Guyette, Curt (October 4, 2006). “You don’t know Dick”. Detroit Metro Times. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- Smith, Samuel (January 18, 2017). “Trump’s Education Pick Betsy DeVos Criticized for Donating Millions to Christian Organizations”. The Christian Post. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- Klein, Rebecca (January 24, 2017). “Speaker at Group Supported By Betsy DeVos Says Hitler Was Good at Reaching Children”. Huffington Post. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- Michaelson, Jay (January 17, 2017). “Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Pick, Could Make Life Hell for LGBT Youth”. Daily Beast. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- Green, Erica L. (December 23, 2017). “The DeVos ‘Nice List‘“. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
- Bailey, Sarah Pulliam (November 23, 2016). “Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education pick, is a billionaire with deep ties to the Christian Reformed community”. Retrieved March 2, 2018 – via www.washingtonpost.com.
- “Betsy DeVos: Friend of “the Family” and Faith-Based Education – TheHumanist.com”. January 19, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- “Unpacking Rob Bell’s DeVos Connection”. www.onfaith.co. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- Horowitz Satlin, Alana (November 24, 2016). “Group Funded by Trump’s Education Secretary Pick: ‘Bring Back Child Labor‘“. Huffington Post. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- Kaczmarczyk, Jeffrey (May 3, 2010). “Dick and Betsy DeVos donate $22.5 million to Kennedy Center training program in Washington”. The Grand Rapids Press. MLive Media Group. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Trescott, Jacqueline (May 4, 2010). “Kennedy Center gets $22.5 million gift from DeVos family”. The Washington Post.
- Zongker, Brett (May 4, 2010). “Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Gets $22.5M Gift from DeVos Family”. Art Daily. Associated Press. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Friess, Steve (September 27, 2017). “How a Quirky Art Prize Tied to the DeVos Family Went Political”. The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
- Marx, Linda. “Betsy DeVos: ‘I did not want a place in Florida, but we fell in love with Windsor‘“. Vero Beach 32963. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- Valerie Strauss (December 21, 2016), To Trump’s education pick, the U.S. public school system is a ‘dead end’, The Washington Post, retrieved January 5, 2017.
- “Meet Betsy DeVos, the polarizing charter-school advocate Trump has tapped as education secretary”. Business Insider. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- “About Us – Board of Directors”. Washington, D.C.: Alliance for School Choice. Archived from the original on February 1, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- “DeVos, Elisabeth P.” (PDF). United States Office of Government Ethics.
- “Local News Briefs”. Lansing State Journal. April 5, 2008. p. B1. This site is pay-per-view.
- Rolly, Paul (April 9, 2008). “Paul Rolly: Pro-voucher group fined $5.2 million”. Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- AP staff reporter (April 5, 2008). “DeVos PAC fined record $5.2 million by Ohio elections board”. MLive.com. The Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Wermund, Benjamin (November 29, 2016). “Trump’s education secretary pick led group that owes millions in election fines”. Politico. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
- “School choice expanding as record fine languishes”. MLive.com. The Associated Press. March 20, 2011.
- “Democratic senators press Trump’s education pick Betsy DeVos to pay years-old $5.3 million fine”.
- Dawsey, Darrell. “Observers say latest affirmative action ruling may be overturned, but battle goes on in Michigan”. MLive.com. July 5, 2011. Grand Rapids: MLive Media Group.
- Stanton, Ryan J. “Group questions why right-wing Republican group is behind ads supporting Democrat Pam Byrnes”. AnnArbor.com. July 10, 2010. MLive Media Group.
- Klein, Alyson (May 17, 2017). “Betsy DeVos to Address American Federation for Children”. EdWeek. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
- “Our Mission”. American Federation for Children. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- “100 Most Influential Women: Betsy DeVos”. Crain’s Detroit. September 26, 2016. Archived from the original on September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- Harris, Douglas N. (November 25, 2016). “Betsy DeVos and the Wrong Way to Fix Schools”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- “DeVos and Detroit’s Charter Schools”. National Review. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- Greene, Jay (December 6, 2016). “When Evidence and Science are Really Just Assumptions and Ideology”. Education Next.
- Turner, Cory (February 4, 2017). “Betsy DeVos’ Graduation Rate Mistake”. National Public Radio. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- Herold, Benjamin (February 1, 2017). “Betsy DeVos Used Cherry-Picked Graduation Rates for Cyber Charters”. Education Week. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- Klein, Joel; Devos, Betsy (May 25, 2013). “A–F grades promote transparency and parental involvement”. Archived from devos-a-f-grades-promote-transparency-and-parental-involvement/ the original Check
|url=value (help) on December 3, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- “Six Future Northwood University Students Receive the Betsy and Dick DeVos Scholarship for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship”. Northwood University. April 22, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
- “Board of Directors”. Foundation for Excellence in Education. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- “Mission and History”. Foundation for Excellence in Education. Retrieved July 10, 2013.
- Cox, Brianna (February 16, 2017). “We Need to Talk About the Betsy DeVos Cartoon”. Paste Magazine. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- Rosenburg, Adam (March 19, 2018). “‘Saturday Night Live’ roasts the epic fail of a ’60 Minutes’ interview with Betsy DeVos”. Mashable. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- Hinzman, Dennis (March 16, 2018). “Randy Rainbow Sits Down with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos”. Out. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- “Trump’s presidency turns into a musical mockery on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race‘“. MSN. March 21, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- Schaefer, Jim (October 9, 2007). “Blackwater founder comes under fire”. USA Today. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- “Transcript”. Bill Moyers Journal. October 19, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- “Thank you, Betsy DeVos, for leading GOP charge against Dave Agema”. The Grand Rapids Press. January 28, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- Kathy Barks Hoffmann (November 12, 2008). “DeVos decides against Mich. gubernatorial run”. The Holland Sentinel. The Associated Press.
- Windquest Group website
- Wozniak, Curt. “How I Spent My Summer Vacation”. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- “About”. ArtPrize. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
- Forbes 400, No. 88 Richard DeVos & family, Forbes, retrieved January 4, 2017
- Bennett, Laurie (December 26, 2011). “The Ultra-Rich, Ultra-Conservative DeVos Family”. Forbes. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Smith, David (November 23, 2016). “Betsy DeVos, billionaire philanthropist, picked as Trump education secretary”. The Guardian. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
- Someone untied Betsy DeVos’s yacht in Ohio. Damage ensued, Washington Post, Moriah Balingit, July 26, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
- Boats Was Set Free in Lake Erie, Vanity Fair, Hilary Weaver, July 26, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
- [Betsy DeVos’ 163-foot yacht set adrift and damaged while docked in Ohio marina], New York Daily News, Denis Slattery, July 26, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
- WHY DOES BETSY DEVOS’S FAMILY YACHT FLY A FOREIGN FLAG? DONALD TRUMP’S ‘AMERICA FIRST’ ADMINISTRATION AND THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, Newsweek, David Sirota, August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
- Hoffman, Kathy Barks (July 10, 2006). “Faltering Economy Obstacle for Granholm”. Fox News. The Associated Press. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Guyette, Curt (February 23, 2000). “God bless vouchers – The DeVos family’s crusade to change public education”. Metro Times. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
|Party political offices|
| Chair of the Michigan Republican Party
| Chair of the Michigan Republican Party
John King Jr.
| United States Secretary of Education
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Secretary of Energy
| Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of Education
as Secretary of Veterans Affairs
|U.S. presidential line of succession|
as Secretary of Energy
| 15th in line
as Secretary of Education
as Secretary of Veterans Affairs