Four years ago, President Trump’s Secretary of Education told the Philanthropic Roundtable how she got involved with reforming the nation’s school system. She and her husband Dick DeVos visited Potter’s House Christian School in Grand Rapids. She was impressed by how badly the parents of those students wanted their children to learn in a safe environment. She and her husband then had school-age children, so they could identify. However, she and her husband had the family income to send their children to any school of their choice. For the parents of Potter’s House’s students, paying the tuition involved great sacrifice. She was struck by how badly those low-income parents wanted a choice for their children that was not the public schools. DeVos told the Philanthropic Roundtable that she was quite optimistic about the future of school choice. Vouchers and such topics had once been radical ideas, when she first advocated them, but now were becoming more popular. And that was because the public school systems are failing. That is driving many people to consider alternatives. She explained in the interview Florida was school choice’s greatest success story at that point. It had a widespread tax-credit scholarship program. They had a great program in Florida to convince both policy makers and the general public of the value of school choice. That gave it a broad base of support.
Betsy DeVos said successful political reform involves getting the right people elected, helping to craft great laws to implement the new policies, getting those laws passed and then helping students to find good schools to attend. She said that at the American Federation for Children, they work on all those levels, unlike all the other school reform organizations. And, she stresses the need to make school reform perceived as either a bipartisan or nonpartisan issue. This is an interesting perspective from a woman who spent six years in charge of the Michigan Republican Party. And who would never had been appointed Secretary of Education under any Democratic president. And she points out that the teachers union have traditionally supported Democratic candidates. And they strongly oppose school choice. However, DeVos insists that school choice should be a nonpartisan issue because it affects the education of all children. And she believes there is a growing interest in educational reform among Democratic legislators. And there are grassroots support for educational choice that spans both political parties. Check this related article from nypost.com.
She and her husband formed the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation years ago. Although they do contribute a lot of resources to advancing their goal of educational reform, they also support Mars Hill Bible Church, Kids Hope USA and the DeVos Institute for Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, Success Academy Charter Schools, the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy, ArtPrize Grand Rapids, the XPrize Foundation and the Boy Scouts of America.
Learn more: https://www2.ed.gov/news/staff/bios/devos.html?src=hp
The growing reliance on wealthy donor George Soros by members of the Democratic Party within the U.S. comes as the 2016 election campaign was lost by the party to the growing rise of the right wing within the U.S. Republican Party. Democracy and human rights have made an impact in the philanthropic and political work of George Soros, who has spent the majority of his life looking to find his own way to a democratic life and help others who feel society is not aiding them in their pursuit of a free life, Discover the Networks reports; with an estimated fortune of $25 billion reported by Forbes and the assets of the Soros Fund Management brand estimated at around $30 billion, George Soros has the ability to provide funding for a range of philanthropic activities. Learn more about his profile at Forbes.com.
George Soros began life in Hungary in 1930 as part of a Jewish family that also had an interest in bringing a global language and culture to the world under the leadership of the patriarch of the Soros family. In 1943, the life of George Soros took a different turn when Nazi German forces rose occupied the country and began exterminating around 500,000 members of the Jewish community in Hungary as part of the Holocaust; after surviving the Holocaust due to forged papers purchased by his father, George Soros would find himself living under Communist rule and embark upon a refugee journey that would initially take him to the London School of Economics. It was during his time as a student that George Soros first became aware of the open society theory popularized by his philosophy teacher Karl Popper, which has been taken by Soros and used as the basis of his Open Society Foundations that have continued to grow from the 1980s onward.
Learn more: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=977
The refugee journey of George Soros was not limited to his arrival in London, but instead continued as he crossed the Atlantic and moved to New York in his bid to create a personal level of wealth before returning to Europe to help others. Soros would eventually find financial success as a hedge fund manager who took $12 million and has turned it into the Soros Fund Management brand that has more than $30 billion in assets. Not only has George Soros looked for new ways of bringing democracy to the people of the world, but he has also sought to protect the people of the U.S. from the removal of their rights protected by the U.S. Constitution. Soros believes the people of the U.S. and all free countries should be on their guard for an erosion of their personal rights that is often seen as the first steps in removing human rights from the people of what are currently free nations.
Read more about George at The New York Times.
In 2010, the Supreme Court issued a decision on the United States v F.E.C. case that declared corporations as people and protected their unlimited campaign contributions as their form of free speech. Created on March 1st, 2015, End Citizens United was established for the sole purpose of overturning the decision also known as Citizens United. In their own words, bringing an end to Citizens United will end “unlimited money in politics,” and stop the “dark money,” that blurs our current political system.
To this end, End Citizens United has established a PAC to fund the campaigns of pro-reform politicians. This PAC managed to earn two million dollars in the first month of its operation exclusively from small donors, and the PAC continues to sign petitions to push for current politicians in office to end Citizens United. Their message, though not stated, is very clear: end Citizens United or we’ll replace you with someone who will.
This attitude is what separates End Citizens United from other groups with similar goals. While some will be happy to sign a petition and hope for the best, they actively work to put politicians in office that will overturn the Supreme Court’s dangerous decision. They receive funds from everyday people and use that money to support candidates they know to support their cause.
However, this does not mean that this organization is going to be without its struggles. The constitutional amendment they need to requires two-thirds of the House and Senate to pass as well as ratification by three-fourths of states. The last constitutional amendment that was ratified was the 27th amendment in 1992, and that amendment was on the back burner since 1791. On other words, End Citizens United has a tough road ahead of it but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
There could be a better chance that the politicians that this group gets elected works to get a judge on the Supreme Court that is sympathetic to their cause. This judge would have the power to overturn the previous decision when a similar case is brought to the court, and with their membership growing more and more every day, it seems like End Citizens United is getting closer to making its name a reality.