Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has toured four schools since she joined President Trump’s Cabinet in early February, and there’s a curious pattern to the visits.
These are the schools she visited:
Feb. 10 — Jefferson Middle School Academy, a traditional public school in Washington
March 3 — St. Andrew Catholic School, a parochial school in Orlando, where she toured with Trump
March 23 — Carderock Springs Elementary School, a traditional public school in Bethesda
March 24 — Valencia College, a community college in Kissimmee, Fla.
That’s two visits in the D.C. area — where she was met with protests — and two in Florida. Is that random?
The Education Department did not respond to a query about why these schools were selected.
But consider this:
Her office at the Education Department is in Washington.
In central Florida, the site of the other two schools she visited, the Michigan billionaire and her husband, Dick DeVos, own at least one home at Windsor, a private sporting club community on what the development’s website says is “a lush barrier island between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean.” This is where the extended DeVos family holds meetings of what it calls the “DeVos Family Council,” which was described this way in family patriarch Richard DeVos’s book, “Simply Rich: Life and Lessons from the Cofounder of Amway”:
“We formed the DeVos Family Council, which is made up of our children and their spouses and meets four times a year. The Family Council just approved a family constitution that essentially captures our family mission and values. … The Family Council also articulates how the family will work together in managing our shared financial interests and our philanthropy.
Betsy DeVos has further ties to central Florida: Her father-in-law bought the Orlando Magic basketball team in 1991, and the family owns it still. She also has close ties to former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who was a pioneer in the movement to restructure schools along business principles and grow alternatives to traditional public schools. She was a board member of his Florida-based Foundation for Excellence in Education.