Betsy DeVos clears major Senate hurdle toward becoming education secretary

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be the next Secretary of Education, testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos is known for her advocacy of school choice and education voucher programs and is a long-time leader of the Republican Party in Michigan. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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 have announced their opposition to DeVos.