>> It's time to make education great again in this country.>> Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump's pick for Education Secretary, and one of the few women nominated for his cabinet, facing her Senate confirmation hearing late Tuesday>> A billionaire automotive parts heiress who married into the family that owns direct sales giant Amway.
DeVos, like several of Trump's wealthier cabinet picks, has yet to complete the required ethics form addressing her vast fortune. Something Senator Patty Murray, the top ranking Democrat on a Health and Education Committee, is pouncing on, looking for any potential conflicts of interest. A former RNC Chairwoman from Michigan, DeVos has reportedly given more than $1,000,000 to sitting Republican senators, and millions more to GOP super pacts, prompting some left leaning groups to call for senators who've benefited from her donations to recuse themselves from her hearings.
DeVos, herself, not an educator, but someone whose deep pockets have helped propel school choice. The Michigan native, winning praise among conservatives for backing school vouchers, government funded scholarships to private or parochial schools, and serving as chief architect of the state's charter school system. Those are privately run schools that receive taxpayer money, but which has come under fire in Michigan for being poorly run and producing dismal student results.
Her supporters, however, see her as someone willing to stand up to teachers' unions, which they see as obstacles to change.