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Donald Trump Taps Betsy DeVos For Education Secretary

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[AP Photo] [AP Photo]

Betsy DeVos, a prominent charter school advocate, will be Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, the president-elect’s transition team announced Wednesday.

“Betsy DeVos is a brilliant and passionate education advocate,” Mr. Trump said in a statement Thursday. “Under her leadership we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families.”

DeVos called it an “honor” to accept the president-elect’s nomination. 

“The status quo in education is not acceptable,” she said in a statement. “Together, we can work to make transformational change that ensures every student in America has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential.”

There are just over 4,000 political appointments to be made by the incoming Trump administration. About 1,200 of them will require Senate confirmation -- the cabinet secretaries and their deputies, as well as those appointees who will head independent agencies, like the CIA and EPA, for instance. These nominees will go through a vetting process and Senate hearing.

A smaller number -- 353 -- do not require Senate confirmation -- those are largely the White House staff positions, according to the Center for Presidential Transition. Reince Priebus, who has been named chief of staff, and chief White House strategist Steve Bannon fall into this category. The rest either work just below the top appointees or serve in a confidential or policy roles ranging from scheduler to confidential assistant to policy expert.

In recent years, presidents-elect have announced some staff picks in the days immediately following their election, while Cabinet secretaries were often announced later in November or in December. So far, Mr. Trump has also announced that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Sen. Jeff Sessions will be his attorney general, Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) will be his national security adviser and Rep. Mike Pompeo will lead the CIA.

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