Betsy DeVos sworn in as Education Secretary

08 Feb 2017 | By Supriya

Betsy DeVos has been sworn in as the new US Education Secretary after Vice President Mike Pence caste his vote in favour of DeVos. Pence said "the easiest vote I ever cast."

Her nomination had led to an impasse between Democrats and Republicans and the vote was split 50-50.

DeVos was sworn-in in a ceremony held at the Vice President's ceremonial office.

In context: Betsy DeVos: The US Education Secretary

BackgroundBetsy DeVos

DeVos is a billionaire and a major donor to the Republican party.

She is a conservative activist who for three decades has aggressively advocated for privatizing education.

Although she doesn't have professional experience in public education or elected office, the Trump administration has nominated her as 'Education Secretary'.

Republicans have defended her "outsider" status and described her as someone who would challenge "status quo".

Harsh criticismSerious pushback against DeVos's nomination

DeVos is Trump's administration most controversial nominee.

Given her lack of experience with public schooling, educators are deeply concerned for US's public school system.

During her confirmation hearing before Senate, she struggled with fundamental questions regarding policy.

Her inability to opine on key issues education reform led Sen. Tom Udall to say, DeVos demonstrated a "profound lack of understanding about education policy".

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Senator Warren grills Betsy DeVos in confirmation hearing

Senator Warren asked DeVos if she would enforce rules that mandate colleges impart 'saleable skills'. DeVos's vague response led Warren to say if DeVos couldn't "commit to using tools already available, I don't see how you can be the secretary."

06 Feb 2017US Education Secretary's nomination hanging by a thread

Billionaire Betsy DeVos's nomination for Education Secretary is hanging by a thread.

Her nomination has created a furore and is facing intensive opposition from Democrats and some Republicans.

Currently, Democrats and Republicans are split 50-50 on her appointment and currently need one more Republican vote in 24-hours for her nomination to be confirmed.

If the tie remains, VP Mike Pence has the tie-breaking vote.

08 Feb 2017Betsy DeVos sworn in as Education Secretary

VP Mike Pence's historic vote

For the first time in US's 228-year history, a vice president has cast a vote to break a tie on a cabinet nominee. DeVos confirmation was on the narrowest possible margin: For - 51 and Against - 50.