Betsy DeVos, a wealthy Republican donor who, along with her children, never attended #public school, has been voted in as secretary of education in a historic #tie-breaking vote cast by Mike Pence. This was the first time in United States history that a Vice President has been called to resolve a 50-50 cabinet tie.

Within hours of this nomination being fought, the Republican-led #House Administration Committee quietly voted to shut down the federally funded election assistance commission, which ensures and secures fair voting.

Mike Pence announced on Tuesday: "For nearly three decades [DeVos] has devoted her time, her talent, and her treasure to ensure that every child in America has the best shot at a better life.

Countless students have benefitted from her efforts to promote an educational marketplace defined by innovation, opportunity, and real, meaningful choice."

US supporters of public school education react with anger

But late Tuesday, Twitter was alive with debate as DeVos was finally voted in, after a long #Democratic fight in the Senate and two defections within her own party.

The weeks leading up to her hearing, rights groups, teaching organizations and labor unions publicly rejected her perceived lack of qualifications and her nomination. During a much-disparaged performance in her confirmation hearing, she suggested that a school in Wyoming may need guns onsite to guard against grizzly bears.

The DeVos educational ethos

DeVos, 59, a wealthy Republican donor and once a Republican Party chairwoman in #Michigan, is married to millionaire ex-Amway CEO Dick DeVos. Her brother, Erik Prince, founded the scandal-prone security firm Blackwater.

In 1997, referring to her family's substantial funding of the #Republican Party, she wrote in news publication Roll Call: "we expect to foster a conservative governing philosophy consisting of limited government and respect for traditional American virtues."

The DeVos's family have long campaigned for education reform in Michigan, lobbying to create a #voucher system that gives public money to private and religious schools – and this has long attracted criticism by teachers unions and liberal groups.

“She has ardently supported the unlimited, unregulated growth of charter schools in Michigan, elevating for-profit schools with no consideration of the severe harm done to traditional public schools,” the ACLU said in a statement. “She’s done this despite overwhelming evidence that proves that charters do no better at educating children than traditional public schools and serve only to exacerbate funding problems for cash-strapped public districts.”

Advancing God's Kingdom

Celebrities, writers and thinkers derided the move by Republicans to vote her in, recalling a statement she made about "advancing God's kingdom" in a 2001 interview that was recorded during an annual conference called The Gathering.

The Gathering brings together the wealthiest Christians in the US come together to discuss policy and the future of the country.

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