Ad Spot

Senate set to confirm DeVos as education secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate was poised on Tuesday to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary by the narrowest possible margin, with Vice President Mike Pence expected to break a 50-50 tie, despite a last-ditch effort by Democrats to sink the nomination.

Betsy DeVos, a wealthy Republican donor and long-time school choice advocate, has emerged as one of Trump’s most controversial Cabinet picks. Labor unions have bitterly contested DeVos’ nomination, fearing that she will destroy public education by promoting charter schools and publicly funded voucher programs for private schools. Civil rights activists also fear she will do little to advocate for LGBT students and children with special needs.

Trump stood behind his nominee, accusing Democrats of fighting progress and change.

“Senate Dems protest to keep the failed status quo,” Trump tweeted Tuesday before the vote. “Betsy DeVos is a reformer, and she is going to be a great Education Sec. for our kids!”

Two GOP senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have announced plans to oppose DeVos in a Senate split 52-48 between Republicans and Democrats. That will leave her with a tie vote if all other Republicans support her and all Democrats oppose her as expected, and will require Pence to put her over the top. A vice president breaking a tie on a Cabinet nomination would be a first in the history of the Senate, according to the Senate historian’s office.

After an all-night speaking marathon by Democrats, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee urged her Republican colleagues to vote against DeVos, calling her unqualified and saying that she will be a poor advocate for low income families and students with disabilities.

“We are just within one vote of sending this nomination back and asking the president to send us a nominee that can be supported by members on both sides of the isle, that can set a vision that can fight for public schools, that can be that champion,” Murray said.

Her opponents also charge that DeVos has no experience to run public schools, having never attended one or sent her children to a public school.

“I am not just voting no, I am voting no way,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons Delaware said.

Business

Rockhouse Live coming to Oxford Square

News

Local taxi, ride-share drivers express concern with proposed ordinance

Education

Foster continuing the family legacy as Lafayette’s new school superintendent

News

The story of Juneteenth: The new federal holiday

Education

Oxford School District announces reorganization of administration

News

Brittany Woods residents seeking another access road following flood event

Business

Planning Commission approves Waffle House site plan

News

Former state rep shot to death in Water Valley Boat Landing community

Education

Lafayette County School District names Jay Foster new superintendent

Crime

Oxford woman charged with child neglect

Lafayette County

MEMA releases preliminary damage report from flood event

Crime

Philadelphia man arrested for sexual battery

News

Community kicks off Juneteenth Festival with Linen on the Lawn

News

Out in the Grove: Oxford’s LGBTQ+ community celebrates Pride

Lifestyle Features

JA invites kids to a Square Safari

Crime

Lafayette County man arrested and charged with murder

News

UM receives $1M to study evidence-based policing, reform

Crime

Jail Logs, week of June 3

Business

Swartzfager named CEO of Right Track group

Education

Lafayette County Literacy Council receives Dollar General grant

News

Did we really exercise during the pandemic?

Elections

Town of Taylor elects two new aldermen; Mayor Hardy re-elected

BREAKING NEWS

Crews battle to keep Lake Tara Dam levee from failing

News

Providing unity: Roberts uses pageant win to promote philanthropy