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To Understand Betsy DeVos’s Educational Views, View Her Education

Ms. DeVos has maintained that she is “agnostic” about the type of schools that parents choose for their children. But in western Michigan, skeptics doubt professions of open-mindedness from someone who grew up in Holland — a town founded by Dutch Calvinist separatists and perceived as insular — and educated in parochial schools. “The Christian schools in Michigan were set up to be separate from the state, and now her intent is to use the state to finance them,” said Mary Bouwense, president of the Grand Rapids Education Association, who has taught in public schools for 25 years. “I know she says it’s about choice, but it’s really about funneling money to what she knows.” “I think her agenda is shaped by her idea of what God wants for the world,” Ms. Bouwense said.