It was in the 1980’s that Betsy DeVos became involved in the school choice movement. When she and her husband, Dick DeVos, had small children they had the opportunity to visit Potter’s House Christian School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This school was very successfully educating children including the many children that attended the school who came from low-income families. It was providing an excellent education in comparison to the public schools in Grand Rapids which were failing their students.
Betsy and Dick kept going back to this school to learn more about it. Over time they started sponsoring the cost of individual children attending the school in order to reduce the financial burden on their parent’s low incomes. Today, 30 years later, they continue to philanthropically support students at Potter’s House Christian School.
This school resulted in both of the DeVos’ realizing that private educational choices were providing a better education than public schools across the United States. One of the biggest tragedies in America today is that a child’s zip code largely determines what kind of education they will receive. Kids in rich zip codes generally receive a quality education while those in poor zip codes have underfunded and underperforming schools holding them back.
The school reform movement that Betsy DeVos has supported over the years is actively campaigning for charter schools and other private options in states across the United States. She believes with tax reforms such as tax credits, education savings accounts, and vouchers parents will be given a much better choice in where to send their children to school. This will also result in children receiving a much better education, especially in low-income zip codes.
Having a choice in which school to attend is increasingly a bi-partisan issue. While the idea was first supported by Republican’s there are now Democratic politicians who also support charter and private schools. She cites Florida as a state where there was strong Democratic support of a school choice bill that was then signed by the Republican Governer of the state.
Betsy DeVos is now the U.S. Secretary of Education after having been confirmed by the US Senate for this position in February 2017. She has vowed to be a strong voice advocating for the rights of parents and students to attend the school of their choice. She has also stated that the educational outcome a child receives should no longer be tied to the zip code they live in.
Before her confirmation, Betsy DeVos volunteered her time to a number of educational nonprofit organizations. She was also the Chairman of The Windquest Group, a private equity company she co-founded along with her husband Dick. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read her interview with Philanthropy Table
Unlike many other billionaires looking to fight political campaigns across the planet, George Soros understands how difficult life can be for people at the harshest fringes of society. In his early life the future billionaire took jobs as a waiter and railway porter to pay for his studies at the London School of Economics, which he began after embarking on a refugee journey that took him from his home in Hungary just after the close of hostilities during World War II that saw Nazi forces occupy the country. Discover the Networks reports the early life and studies of George Soros have made it easy to see just why the political and philanthropic career of the founder of Soros Fund Management have been based upon the fight for the rights of people facing discrimination and a battle for survival in the face of right wing political leaders. Learn more on discoverthenetworks.org about George Soros.
The Soros family was always looking to unite the people of the world in many different ways, particularly for the patriarch of the family, Tividar Soros, who was already a supporter of the use of the universal language of Esperanto across the world. This global outlook has remained a part of the life of George Soros for many years and has resulted in the founder of the Open Society Foundations network of charitable groups spending much of his time concerned with the problems facing refugees across the planet. Politico reports a good example of the work of George Soros in terms of refugee rights in his decision to forgo a planned visit to the Democratic National Convention of 2016 where his chosen Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, was to receive the nomination of the party to instead remain updated on the European refugee crisis. Learn more about George at Biography.
Not only does George Soros believe greater rights should be available to refugees, but he has also made clear his support for immigration reform options that have been an ongoing concern for his Open Society Foundations. Part of the philosophical and political belief of the man who follows the Open Society theories of Karl Popper is the call for mass migration into democratic countries like the U.S. where the work completed by refugees and other immigrants will promote the diversity George Soros believes is important to all aspects of life in the 21st century. Soros backs groups with major financial contributions, including the National Immigration Law Center and the Immigration Policy Center. Over the course of 2015 and 2016, George Soros also became a major part of the remain campaign established in the buildup to the Brexit referendum in the U.K.; although a strong critic of the German Chancellor for her handling of European Union problems, George Soros remains strong in his belief that the European Union remains an important political and social experiment.
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