Following what was arguably the most contentious cabinet nomination in US history, Betsy DeVos, a billionaire with no experience in education, has been confirmed as secretary of the agency she's long advocated against.
But even as Democrats went to the Senate floor to talk about DeVos throughout the night Monday, Republicans continued to defend her, saying her support of charter schools and school choice, if anything, suggests a secretary who is prepared to shake up traditional education.
"In her senate confirmation hearings, Ms. DeVos seemed to lack important pertinent knowledge of where the issues and debates are lying within public education", explains Kevin Taylor, Director of the School of Education for Cal Poly.
The CAP article states that in addition to the direct contributions to the Republican Senators mentioned, the DeVos family donated $2.25 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, which has as its sole goal increasing the Republican numbers in the upper chamber under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Practically and philosophically, DeVos wants to privatize public education.
The contentiousness of the confirmation process has led some observers to question whether DeVos will begin her tenure as a weaker secretary. I wanted to continue to be respectful and to try to reflect the kind of demeanor that I think we should have surrounding these conversations. The Education Market Association found that in 2015, American public school teachers spent a total of $1.6 billion on supplies, reports Time.
Meanwhile, an appeals court is set to hear arguments on President Trump's controversial travel ban. Vice President Mike Pence's vote broke a 50-50 tie. He entered politics as an advocate of public funding for private schools, two of which he operated in Newark, New Jersey.
Addressing several hundred Education Department staff members, DeVos, a wealthy Republican donor and school choice champion, vowed to work with everyone, including her critics, in ensuring the best education in the nation's schools.
DeVos has been the most contentious of Trump's Cabinet nominees. Knowing this, she plans to "fight by their side to hold Betsy DeVos accountable and push her to do the right thing for parents and students".
Wolf is also concerned about DeVos potentially giving state the responsibility of working with those who fall under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which guides schools in how to give children with disabilities the assistance that they need. DeVos has never attended or taught in a public school.
He and other educators locally and nationally are anxious about such issues because of Betsy DeVos, the new leader of the U.S. Department of Education. "We will also work our best for our students and communities and our families that we serve".
Following the vote, Pence conducted a swearing-in ceremony for DeVos. A vice president breaking a tie on a Cabinet nomination would be a first in the history of the Senate, according to the Senate historian's office.
That hits at the heart of what DeVos wants to accomplish in this job, one she never sought nor thought she'd do until approached late a year ago.