Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the Secretary of Education today, after Vice President Pence cast the tie-breaking vote, making the final count in the Senate 51-50. It was the first time a vice president cast a tie-breaking vote for a Cabinet appointment.
While the majority of K-12 school funding isn’t federal, there are many other ways that her appointment may affect K-12 public schooling nationally. Many working in public schools see her advocacy for school choice and vouchers particularly troubling. Others take issue with her qualifications and lack of knowledge about the myriad of responsibilities that schools deal with, such as special education requirements.
Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine said, “DeVos’ lack of experience with public schools will make it difficult for her to understand, identify and assist with those challenges, particularly for our rural schools in states like Maine.”
Senator Kamala Harris of California tweeted, “First and foremost, the country needs a Sec. of Education who has demonstrated basic competency when it comes to issues facing children.”
Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas was pleased that DeVos was not, “another education bureaucrat that knows all the acronyms and knows the arcana known to people that have been brought up within that establishment.”
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