Get to know the faith and ideals of new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Although Betsy DeVos has been nominated for a role that is least powerful in the government, she received a large amount of opposition. Perhaps it’s her extremely conservative views and no experience in public education that instigated all 48 Democratic senators and two Republicans to vote against her from coming into power.

Howver, despite an all-night protest by Democrats, DeVos was confirmed today as Education Secretary with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.

DeVos’ confirmation could spell the end for groups that are trying to separate church and state and reduce privatization. She and her husband are known for their proactive efforts in erasing the lines between church and state, and are pushing for privatization of schools.

Here are five major facts about Betsy DeVos you should know:
1. She supports only Christian schools

Betsy and her husband are well known for their generous donations towards schools. However, it has been found that their foundations’ generosity extends only to Christian schools. Nearly half of their donations between 1999 and 2014 have gone to Christian schools such as the Ada Christian School, Grand Rapids Christian High School Association, and the Holland Christian Schools.

2. She endorses use of public money to send children to private and religious schools

This is one of the biggest causes of concern to non-religious people and citizens who want to keep religion out of education and secular life. DeVos is in favor of utilizing tax-payer money to send children to private schools, including religious institutions which is one of the things the conservative white Christians are looking for.

3. She believes that education can be used to “Advance God’s kingdom”

DeVos’ main focus in life is to spread God’s kingdom. She believes education is a powerful tool to do so. Perhaps that’s why she’s working hard to strengthen religious school and education.

4. Not all evangelicals want her as secretary of education

Although her ideas and plans ring of the typical hopes that white evangelicals express, not all of them want to see her in the role that she has been nominated for. In fact a number of Calvin College alumni signed a petition against her nomination saying she isn’t qualified enough for the role.

5. She has roots in the Christian Reformed Church

DeVos was brought up in a Christian Reformed Church family and had graduated from schools run by this denomination. However, she is now known to be a member of the Mars Hill Bible Church, a non-denominational evangelical church.

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The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and are not necessarily those of World Religion News.

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