President Obama nominated Acting Secretary of Education John B. King to take on role full-time on Thursday.
King has been at the Department of Education since 2015 and began serving as acting Secretary in January 2016. The former New York State Commissioner of Education took over when longtime Obama cabinet official Arne Duncan stepped down from the position at the end of 2015. Duncan left his post to return to his family in Chicago. King had been the Deputy Secretary of Education under Duncan.
“Since joining the Department of Education, John has worked to build on the progress our country has made in expanding opportunity for all of our children," Obama said in a statement. "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"
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate education committee and former Education Secretary under President George H.W. Bush, signaled support for King's nomination in a statement issued shortly after Obama's announcement.
“I have urged the president to nominate an education secretary, and I am glad he has done so," Sen. Alexander said. "John King will receive a prompt and fair hearing in our committee. "