Betsy DeVos Appointed To Secretary Of Education, Split Senate Vote Swung By VP Pence
Betsy DeVos, the Michigan billionaire, has been confirmed as Secretary of Education after a split-decision vote by the U-S Senate was swung in her favor by a yes vote from Vice President Mike Pence.
The 51-50 vote saw two Republican Senators, including Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, vote against appointing DeVos.
DeVos has been strongly opposed by the public education sector, including the American Federation of Teachers, whose president was quoted saying that today is a "sad day for children."
Critics of DeVos have noted that her history as an advocate of the charter school system and school choice give her a pre-existing bias towards the public school system.
DeVos has been a long-time donor to the Republican Party, with estimates ranging upwards of $200 million in donations, a talking point that she was questioned on during January confirmation hearings.
Republican supporters argue that DeVos' stance on education will serve as a check and balance to public schools and shed light on the problems it has faced.
Alaskan Senator Dan Sullivan voted to confirm DeVos despite thousands of calls and emails to his office.