Betsy DeVos' final confirmation vote today

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Donald Trump did the nation's public schools a great service by nominating Betsy DeVos, the awesomely loathsome billionaire Amway heiress, for secretary of Education.

DeVos won confirmation as education secretary Tuesday by the slimmest of margins, pushed to approval only by the historic tie-breaking vote of Vice President Mike Pence.

After a contentious confirmation process, Betsy DeVos addressed her new staff on her first day as secretary of Education.

DeVos also admitted during the committee hearings that she had no personal experience with public K-12 schools or using federal student loans like Pell Grants - which are awarded to undergraduate students dependent on financial need, cost of attendance and more.

Educators and students deserve a secretary who can commit to supporting every student in all public schools, and a leader that will work tirelessly to promote a public education system that provides each child with the optimum conditions for teaching and learning.

Moore, like DeVos a MI native, said the incoming secretary of Education has "worked tirelessly" to destroy the state's schools.

"And so, we're going to stay engaged, we won't stop", she continued. "I pledge to listen and learn from you, and stakeholders around the country", DeVos said.

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DeVos said that she "might touch another book" in the future but gave no specific indication of when that might occur.

Senator McCain voted to confirm Secretary DeVos because she is committed to expanding school choice for millions of students who are now trapped in failing schools - a cause the senator has always been committed to. Susan Collins of ME - coupled with an intense lobbying effort by liberal and Democratic groups has made DeVos the first of Trump's Cabinet picks to face serious jeopardy.

"We are just within one vote of sending this nomination back and asking the president to send us a nominee that can be supported by members on both sides of the aisle, that can set a vision that can fight for public schools, that can be that champion", Murray said. The 50-50 U.S. Senate tie greeting her nomination reflects an impressive national movement to derail DeVos, a truly dubious selection.

Certainly there are parents who sacrifice financially to send their children to parochial schools or do the job themselves, but the vast majority of kids attend public schools - and that's the way the teachers' unions like it.

"It can inspire people to get involved, to learn more, I think just by making any kind of statement in public allows people to see that real people care about this stuff and that maybe they should too", Eckhouse said. They could also look to defund gainful employment, which the department crafted to weed out vocational programs that graduate students with high volumes of student loan debt and poor prospects of paying it off. Unless those mothers happen to be rich, their children must go to the local public school no matter how bad it may be.

At its most basic level, school choice can be a "school within a school", where families can choose between two or three schools in one building.

Pence's vote broke the deadlock propelling the controversial DeVos into her new position.

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