Betsy DeVos, a billionaire school choice advocate from Michigan, was confirmed Tuesday as the next U.S. Secretary of Education. 

The Senate vote, a 50-50 tie broken by Vice President Mike Pence, came after DeVos emerged as President Donald Trump’s most controversial cabinet pick, thanks in part to several shaky answers during her confirmation hearing.

Here are five things New Jersey parents should know about DeVos and how she might affect education in New Jersey.

Why was her appointment so controversial?

DeVos has no professional experience whatsoever in public schools and seemed unfamiliar with key federal education policies during her confirmation hearing.

Her background in education centers around her efforts to promote school choice, and she once called the public education system a “dead end.”

Questions about her qualifications for the job and her intent to steer public money to private schools drew strong opposition from the public education establishment.

The state’s largest teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association, called DeVos a “disaster for public schools.”

What issues does she feel strongly about?

DeVos is an ardent school choice advocate, meaning she doesn’t think children should be limited to the schools in the neighborhood where they live.

In addition to supporting charter schools, she’s advocated for a voucher system that would allow students to attend private and religious schools using public money.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools celebrated her confirmation.

“We believe that Secretary DeVos will put students and families first and we look forward to working with her to ensure each child has access to a high-quality public school and a safe and supportive environment in which to learn,” the organization said.

Outside of school choice, though, it’s still unclear which education issues DeVos will prioritize.

“We don’t know,” said Mark Weber, a teacher, education blogger and doctoral student at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. “I don’t think we have the slightest idea where (DeVos) stands on any number of issues that are important.” 

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How much influence will she have over New Jersey schools?

New Jersey’s public schools are predominantly funded by state and local tax dollars, and DeVos has indicated she may give states more leeway in decisions about their education systems. 

However, the federal government often uses grants as means to entice states to adopt policies a president’s administration supports.

During the Obama administration, many states adopted Common Core standards or implemented new teacher evaluation rules in hopes that it would improve their chances of winning federal money.

Where does she stand on higher education?

The U.S. Department of Education oversees America’s colleges and universities and the federal grant program that helps students attend them. But DeVos hasn’t said much about her plans for high education. 

One issue to watch may be whether she loosens Obama’s standards for how colleges should respond to reported sexual assaults. 

Why are people worried about her religious beliefs? 

DeVos is a devout Christian who has provided financial support to religious schools. After DeVos was nominated, concerns were raised about a 2001 interview in which she said education reform is a way to “advance God’s kingdom.” 

Some science educators worry DeVos will oppose schools teaching about evolution or push for lessons about creationism. 

Adam Clark may be reached at Follow him on twitter at @realAdamClarkFind on Facebook