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Secretary DeVos is voted in

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On February 7, Republican Elizabeth “Betsy” DeVos was confirmed as the United States’ Secretary of Education. She received this confirmation after a 50-50 vote in the Senate, where Vice President Mike Pence was the tiebreaking 51st vote. This marks the first time in history that a vice president has ever had to break a tie to confirm a cabinet nomination.
DeVos, a billionaire, has a history of pushing for alternatives to public school, such as charter schools.She is also known for supporting vouchers, which allow students to use taxpayer dollars to pay their tuition for charter schools or religiously-affiliated schools.
Many voiced their concerns regarding her nomination back in November, especially from Senate Democrats, who argued she will neglect public schools.
Prior to the vote, many Senate Democrats protested in a 24-hour long speaking marathon against DeVos. Their goal was to convince at least three Republicans to join them in voting against DeVos’ nomination. However, only two Republicans voted against DeVos, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
“I have serious concerns about a nominee to be secretary of education who has been so involved in one side of the equation, so immersed in the push for vouchers, that she may be unaware of what actually is successful within the public schools, and also what is broken and how to fix them,” Murkowski said after announcing her opposition.
Despite others’ concerns, DeVos has many Republican supporters.
Senator Lamar Alexander, a Senate Republican from Tennessee, supports DeVos and argues she won’t ignore public schools.
“She led the most effective public school reform movement over the last few years,” Alexander said.
He also believes the vouchers she supports would allow low-income children to have the opportunity to attend a “better school.”
“The idea that a low-income child should have the same opportunity or more of the same opportunities that a wealthy family has would seem to me to be a very all-American idea,” he said in the Senate.
DeVos addressed the controversy regarding her nomination while addressing education department members on February 8.
“I am committed to working with everyone and anyone — from every corner of the country, from every walk of life, from every background, and with those who supported my nomination and those who did not — to protect, strengthen. and create new world-class education opportunities for America’s students,” DeVos said.

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The student news site of Laguna Creek High School
Secretary DeVos is voted in