Donald Trump Taps Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education

DeVos met with Trump in New Jersey last weekend.

November 23, 2016, 4:24 PM

— -- President-elect Donald Trump has tapped charter school advocate and billionaire businesswoman Betsy DeVos as his pick for education secretary, his transition team announced Wednesday.

DeVos, who met with Trump in New Jersey over the weekend, is the second woman Trump intends to nominate for his Cabinet. Earlier Wednesday, he announced plans to nominate Gov. Nikki Haley, R-South Carolina, to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"I am honored to accept this responsibility to work with the President-elect on his vision to make American education great again,” said DeVos in a statement. “The status quo in education is not acceptable. Together, we can work to make transformational change that ensures every student in America has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential.”

The Michigan businesswoman, a leading school-choice advocate and former Michigan GOP chairwoman, is one of the Republican Party's most prolific mega-donors.

DeVos, together with her husband -- the billionaire son of the founder of direct-marketing conglomerate Amway -- was one of the biggest Republican donors of 2016, contributing more than $2.75 million to federal candidates, state parties and political action committees this campaign cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

During the GOP primary, DeVos was no cheerleader for Trump, initially backing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for president before turning to Sen. Marco Rubio and then Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

She attended the Republican National Convention as an at-large Kasich delegate, expressing reservations about Trump ahead of the convention.

“I am watching and listening with interest. I am going to be continuing to do that as we approach the convention and go through the convention next week,” she told the Detroit News in July. “There have clearly been a lot of things that have been said that give me serious pause for thought. But on the other hand, when I consider the alternative, that is not attractive either.”

Once officially nominated, DeVos must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

While DeVos worked for Bush's education group that helped pave the way for Common Core, she said Wednesday she opposes Common Core standards.

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