Who is Betsy Devos? - WNEM TV 5

Who is Betsy Devos?

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(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). In this Nov. 19, 2016, file photo, President-elect Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos pose for photographs at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). In this Nov. 19, 2016, file photo, President-elect Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos pose for photographs at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J.
MICHIGAN, (WNEM) -

As President-elect Donald Trump begins to appoint his cabinet, one of his choices is a polarizing figure.

Trump wants Betsy Devos as his Secretary of Education.  The 58-year-old is a member of one of the wealthiest families in America.

She’s the daughter-in-law of Amway co-founder Richard Devos. In 2000, she had her husband, Richard Devos, Jr., led a petition drive to institute a voucher system in Michigan to let parents use public money for private schools.

Voters rejected it overwhelmingly.

Trump wants to use billions of federal money to pay for private schooling for poor children. Devos is a longtime Republican donor and opposed to the voluntary education standards known as Common Core, which Trump wants to abolish.

“We will provide school choice, and put an end to common core – we are bringing our education local,” Trump said.

Devos has no governing experience.

She previously served on the Board of Education group led by Jeb Bush that supported common core, but in a statement she said, “I am not a supporter – period. It got turned into a federalized boondoggle.”

The AFL CIO called Devos a terrible choice for teachers and students, saying she has spent millions to dismantle public education.

In a statement, it said Trump has “selected a fellow billionaire who has been openly hostile to teachers and public school employees, which should send a strong message that Trump is not on the side of working families and has no interest in improving education.”

Devos has been praised by Conservatives and still has to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, which is run by Conservative Republicans. 

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