Betsy DeVos: A Look at the Numbers

By Nicole Jackson

Every day since the nomination of Betsy DeVos by president-elect Donald Trump as the country’s next secretary of education, there has been at least one news story about her and what her election may mean for education and a countless number of children in public schools in cities and states around the U.S.

The stories have run the gamut from positive to neutral to all the way untrue. This week’s stories alone can fit into at least one of these categories.

A recent New York Times article suggested that DeVos’ participation in and advocacy for school choice was a cover for a “broader conservative agenda.” On the same day, The Leadership Conference, an organization that “promotes and protects the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States,” released a statement on behalf of 33 civil and human rights groups expressing concern for DeVos’ nomination as her experience “calls into question core principles of fairness, equality and a commitment to education.”

Last week, I shared a Fox News video, in which DeVos supporter, colleague, and friend, Kevin Chavous, provided a more personal, in depth analysis of what could be expected when she is confirmed for the role. Her belief “in reaching across the aisle and putting politics secondary to the interest of kids” was one of the highlights. While many others have come to defend DeVos from her attackers, even in their good intentions, some things have seemed to fall through the cracks.

The hardcore numbers.

As chairman of the American Federation for Children for over 7 years, DeVos has led the organization to immense success. DeVos’ final year in the role speaks volumes to and provides a glimpse into the successes that can be expected in her new journey.

  • 1,289: the number of school choice programs that are now available to parents and students across the country
  • $4,902: the average scholarship amount students received to attend a choice private school in the 2015-2016 school year alone
  • 394,311: the number of students who received scholarships to enroll in the private school of their choice during the 2015-2016 school year

Because of DeVos’ leadership, millions of lives have been changed and as the country’s new secretary of education, millions more will get the opportunity at a better education and a better life.