5 things to know about Betsy DeVos, Trump's new education secretary

President-elect Donald Trump has picked one of the most well-known women in Michigan for his cabinet -- Betsy DeVos as education secretary.

Here are five things to know about Besty DeVos, whom President-elect Donald Trump picked for education secretary on Wednesday, Nov. 23:

--As a member of the DeVos clan of west Michigan, she is one of the top Republican fundraisers in the state. The family has given millions over the years – including about $10 million in the most recent political cycle – to elect Republicans, including to the campaign efforts of two other presidential candidates, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

--DeVos' husband, Dick, is the son of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos. He ran as the Republican nominee for Michigan governor against the incumbent, Jennifer Granholm, in 2006, and lost.

--She’s the daughter of west Michigan businessman Edgar Prince, whose auto supplies company made lighted visors and many other products before being sold to Johnson Controls in 1996. Her brother, Erik Prince, is a former Navy SEAL who founded the private security company Blackwater, which came under criticism for actions during the Iraq War.

--DeVos and her husband led a failed effort in 2001 to amend the Michigan constitution to provide vouchers that would allow students to attend private schools at public expense.

--DeVos is on the board of directors for the Great Lakes Education Project, which advocates for school choice and charter schools. She also chairs the board of directors of the American Federation for Children, another choice advocacy group.

Detroit Free Press


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