A battle over schools rages in Michigan - and Betsy DeVos is at the center of it - 2022-03-26
DETROIT — After spending millions of dollars on a goal that has so far eluded her, Betsy DeVos might finally have found a way to achieve it.
The wealthy philanthropist from western Michigan who served as U.S. education secretary under former President Donald Trump has been fighting for private school vouchers in her home state since at least 2000, when she and her family put about $3 million behind a ballot referendum that was soundly rejected by voters.
She spent the next two decades spending heavily on campaign contributions and lobbying efforts to promote alternatives to traditional public schools. DeVos and her allies have succeeded in making Michigan one of the nation's friendliest states for privately run, publicly funded charter schools. But her vision for a state program that would make tuition-based private schools more affordable for Michigan families has repeatedly run up against the state's strict constitutional prohibition on public dollars for these schools.