LANSING, Mich. (AP/WXMI) – There were a lot of mixed reactions from Michigan officials concerning the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.
After a heated debate in the Senate - with 2 Republicans defecting and voting against her - and a 24-hour marathon push from Democrats to get another Republican on their side, Betsy DeVos’s confirmation as education secretary became a reality Tuesday.
Michigan Superintendent Brian Whiston is hopeful DeVos will push for less federal intervention and more conversations with individual states.
“I hope that Washington doesn't become prescriptive on those funds,” says Whiston. "I hope they say, here's your money show us how you're going to use it and show us how you're going to determine whether those dollars help kids be successful or not. I think that's the role the secretary can and should play.”
Some people believe DeVos may choose to make a major overhaul of the education system in the U.S.
“I think Betsy DeVos is going to take education reform initiatives and really take them as far as she can go,” says Susan Demas, editor of Inside Michigan Politics. “And that means working hand and glove with Congress, which should be easy for her because she knows a lot of the players. She’s a huge fundraiser and donor.”
And when it comes to vouchers and charter schools, superintendent Whiston says he’s completely against vouchers, but that he does support the idea of charter schools to a certain extent.
Because the Senate was in a 50-50 deadlock, Vice President Mike Pence was required to break the tie, first time a vice president ever had to break a tie on a Cabinet nomination. He says it was the "easiest vote he ever cast."