Senate confirms Betsy DeVos as education secretary

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President-elect Donald Trump has picked Betsy DeVos, a top Republican donor and school choice activist, to head the Department of Education, the Trump transition team announced Wednesday, November 23, 2016.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Senate has confirmed school choice activist Betsy DeVos as Education secretary, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie.

The Senate historian says it was the first time a vice president had to break a tie on a Cabinet nomination.

Two Republicans joined Democrats Tuesday to vote to derail DeVos’ nomination. Democrats cited her lack of public school experience and financial interests in organizations pushing charter schools. DeVos has said she would divest herself from those organizations.

Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska fear that DeVos’ focus on charter schools will undermine remote public schools in their states.

In an earlier tweet, President Donald Trump wrote “Betsy DeVos is a reformer, and she is going to be a great Education Sec. for our kids!”