Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush praised Betsy DeVos as President-elect Donald Trump's choice for education secretary because she will "take on the entrenched special interests in American education that have put the interests of adults ahead of school children for too long."
DeVos, 59, a Michigan philanthropist and former chair of the state's Republican Party, underwent a bruising confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate Health, Labor, Education, and Pension Committee.
She pledged not to dismantle public education, and said she was not selected for the job simply because of her wealthy family's generous contributions to the Republican Party.
"Betsy DeVos showed today why she is a hero of the education reform movement," Bush, the former Republican presidential candidate who is president and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, said in a statement.
"She passionately articulated the case for school choice and parental control and expressed a deep commitment to children, especially at-risk students who are the biggest victims of failing K-12 schools.
"Betsy DeVos will take on the entrenched special interests in American education that have put the interests of adults ahead of school children for too long," Bush said.
DeVos, who has spent more than two decades advocating for charter schools and school choice, promised to senators she would work to address "the needs of all parents and students."
She was endorsed last week by former Republican first lady Barbara Bush, who is Jeb's mother.
"Our experience in Florida proves that expanded school choice, coupled with strong accountability measures, delivers great results for kids," Bush said. "Betsy DeVos will work to shift power and money back to states and parents so innovation and reform can flourish in America."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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