January 26, 2017
Letter to the editor:
Betsy Devos: A different Viewpoint
I live in Holland, Michigan and believe that parents and students should be able to choose the schools that meet their needs.
I am an informed consumer regarding educational options. I was trained as a special education teacher and worked for years as both a teacher and an advocate for educational options for children and adults with disabilities. I have a large family and we have benefited from the wide array of choices available for K-12 education in West Michigan. Our children have attended public, parochial and charter schools and we have benefited from all those opportunities. Five of our six children graduated from Black River an outstanding local public charter school, all have attended college and three of the six have gotten advanced degrees so far. My wife and I value educational options to help our children maximize their God given potential and become productive citizens.
Parents need and want choices for their children’s education. Like buying shoes for children, one size does not fit all and each child’s needs often change from year to year. It’s the same with our children’s education. Many families in our community have children in different educational systems and change them as needed.
Parents need and want more control over the educational options for their children. Schools of choice and educational vouchers will give parents more control as customers of educational services and not just unwilling recipients of whatever the educational elites in Washington and Lansing want to impose on our children and families.
Local control and subsidiarity (making decisions at the lowest possible level giving voters more control) used to be a conservative value but now has been replaced by increasing consolidation of power and decision-making at the federal and international levels.
I believe that parental choice, competition and innovation will improve education and improve our children’s chances to achieve the American dream so often denied to those with a poor education.
Betsy Devos has dedicated much of her life to educational reforms and helping others less fortunate than her. She has promoted schools of choice, educational vouchers and charter schools to increase educational choice for all parents. I believe that Betsy Devos will promote choice not complacency for families seeking the best options for their children’s education and hopes for a better future. I urge my fellow citizens to support Betsy Devos and give educational choice a chance.