President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Education Secretary, Elizabeth DeVos, has been a fierce advocate of school choice over the years, but she also brings some manufacturing acumen to the incoming administration. Her father, Edgar Prince, was the founder of Prince Corp. (Holland, MI), a leading manufacturer of die cast machines in Michigan that very successfully branched out into auto interior systems. His company developed a sun visor with an illuminated vanity mirror in 1972. He passed away from a heart attack in 1995 at the age of 63. His company was sold the following year for $1.35 billion and is now part of Johnson Controls (Milwaukee, WI).
DeVos has other significant business interests in her constellation. She is the daughter-in-law of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, who is worth an estimated $5.1 billion, according to Forbes.
|Image of Elizabeth DeVos courtesy Keith A. Almli/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
She has been active in Republican politics for many years, chairing the Michigan Republican Party at various times. Her signature issue has been education through the American Federation for Children (AFC), which she currently chairs. The AFC advocates for school vouchers, which would allow parents to use taxpayer money to send their children to private and parochial schools. As reported in USA Today, DeVos said in a 2013 interview, “What we are trying to do is tear down the mindset that assigns students to a school based solely on the ZIP Code of their family’s home. We advocate instead for as much freedom as possible.”
DeVos is no friend to teachers’ unions, who pay her back in kind. Commenting on Trump’s announcement, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said that DeVos would impose a “reckless and extreme ideology on the nation.”
In selecting her to become U.S. Secretary of Education, Trump said DeVos is "a brilliant and passionate education advocate" who will help him "reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families."