Billionaire Republican donor Betsy DeVos has managed to purchase the US Department of Education with $200 million in donations to the GOP.
The embattled nominee, who doesn’t know the difference between proficiency and growth, won the vote with a historic tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.
The 51-to-50 vote elevates Ms. DeVos — a wealthy donor from Michigan to the head of an education system in need of an actual educator. DeVos has dedicated much of her time in recent years to expanding charter schools and vouchers, but has limited experience with the public school system.
DeVos has said in the past that she expected a “return on her investment” from the GOP after donating hundreds of millions to the Republican party.
Two republicans voted against Ms. DeVos’s confirmation, a sign that some members of President Trump’s party are willing to go against him.
DeVos was nominated only after Vice President Pence was summoned to the Capital for a tie-breaker vote — the first time such a measure has ever been taken.
The Republicans who voted against DeVos were Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Lawmakers argued that DeVos was unqualified because of a lack of familiarity with public schools and with laws meant to protect students.
Collins and Murkowski admitted that they were swayed by the thousands of messages they received from their supporters who wanted nothing to do with DeVos.
Ms. DeVos was nominated despite a bitter fight with teachers’ unions and even some charter organizations that typically oppose them.
Ms. DeVos has been a big supporter of vouchers that can allow students to use taxpayer dollars to pay tuition at private, religious and for-profit schools.
Betsy DeVos is the wife of Amway founder Richard DeVos. His company is about as close to a pyramid scheme you can achieve without actually breaking the law.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.