By Jordan Fabian - 02/11/16 06:21 PM EST
Obama formally names Education secretary nominee
President Obama has nominated John B. King, Jr. to lead the Department of Education, where he has served as acting secretary since the beginning of the year, the White House said Thursday.
The announcement came after key senators pledged to give King a fair hearing. The White House previously indicated it would not formally nominate King in order to avoid the type of time-consuming battle that has stalled other Obama nominees.
Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderOvernight Regulation: Lawsuits pile up against Obama overtime rule The American people are restive, discouraged and sometimes suicidal GOP chairman eyes lame-duck for passing medical cures bill MORE (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate education committee, said Thursday that King “will receive a prompt and fair hearing.”
King replaced Obama’s longtime Education secretary, Arne DuncanArne DuncanProposed Department of Education rule runs counter to ESSA's restrictions In search of the surest Common Core exit route The opt-out movement and the coddling epidemic MORE, who stepped aside at the end of 2015.
His nomination comes two months after Obama signed a sweeping overhaul of the No Child Left Behind education law.
“For proper accountability, especially as we work with the administration on implementing the new law ... it is important to have in charge of the department a member of the president’s cabinet confirmed by the United States Senate,” Alexander said in a statement.
King, a former teacher and principal, joined the Department of Education in 2015 after serving as State Commissioner of Education in New York.
“There is nobody better to continue leading our ongoing efforts to work toward preschool for all, prepare our kids so that they are ready for college and career, and make college more affordable,” Obama said in a statement.