WASHINGTON — Betsy DeVos has cleared a major hurdle in the Senate to become the next education secretary, despite vigorous opposition from Democrats.

Senators voted 52-48 to cut off debate before dawn Friday morning, setting the stage for a final confirmation vote next week.

DeVos is a billionaire Republican donor and school choice activist. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York calls her “one of the worst nominees.”

Schumer says, “Ms. Devos does not deserve to be secretary of education.”

President Donald Trump’s nominee has spent more than two decades promoting charter schools across the country. Her nomination has come under fierce criticism from labor unions, who accuse her of seeking to dismantle public education. Two key Republican senators, Maine’s Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have announced their opposition to DeVos.


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