Acting Education Secretary John B. King Jr. is one step closer to confirmation. In a 16 to 6 vote, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved President Obama’s nominee, ABC News reports.
There’s just one more step: a confirmation vote from the full Senate.
If confirmed, King would replace Arne Duncan, who resigned in December. He’s tasked with implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act, the new bipartisan K-12 education law that replaced No Child Left Behind.
During King’s confirmation hearing on Feb. 25, the senators quizzed him on a range of subjects. Among the topics were King’s strategy for implementing the new law, which shifts more authority in education policy from the federal government to states and local school districts.
The lawmakers also questioned King about the president’s opposition to vouchers and his plans to fix the federal student loan program.
King shared his stirring background with the senators. He was orphaned as child and credits his Brooklyn, N.Y. public school teachers for saving his life and inspiring him to become a teacher. He’s a former New York State education commissioner.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the committee’s chairman, voted in favor of King’s confirmation and urged the full Senate to take up his nomination soon.