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Senate committee approves Betsy DeVos in 12-11 party-line vote. Full Senate confirmation likely.

The DeVos nomination moved out of committee today on a 12-11 party vote and now goes to the full Senate, which is expected to confirm her as U.S education secretary. A billionaire school choice advocate from Michigan, DeVos requires a simple majority to win.

There was at least one GOP senator, who, while voting for DeVos in committee today, expressed reservations about her.

“Do note, she has not yet earned my full support,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. “I would not advise yet that she count on my vote.”

Here is what Jeb Bush, president and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, said about the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions' favorable vote on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as education secretary.

Betsy DeVos deserves this vote of confidence and endorsement toward confirmation as the next Secretary of Education. Despite the partisan gamesmanship she endured these past weeks, Betsy remains focused on serving our nation as a true champion of students and parents. I know she will work tirelessly to improve the future of every child, especially those who have been stuck too long in failing schools. Betsy’s long-standing commitment to innovation, choice and accountability create the exact formula needed to empower states and parents to transform education in America.

And here is what Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said:

Make no mistake: With this nomination, President Trump tried to reignite the education wars, using the aspirations of parents for their children to try to pit parents against their children’s teachers. It backfired. Millions of Americans across the country strongly believe in public education and have stood up to defend it. That’s why hundreds of groups and legislators have pleaded with Congress not to confirm DeVos, and why tens of thousands of Americans have jammed the Senate hotlines urging their senators to reject the nomination.


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Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.