By a party-line vote of 52-48, the Senate voted to close debate on DeVos' nomination by President Donald Trump, which has sparked a controversy unlike any seen before over a potential secretary of education.
Three new staffers with experience in education policy circles joined the list of political aides smoothing the way for the Trump administration to take over the U.S. Department of Education.
King, who served as President Barack Obama's education secretary, will be only the second leader in Ed Trust's history, taking over for Kati Haycock, its CEO and founder.
"We are sending a signal that we are unhappy with these regs," said Tyler Hernandez, a spokesman for the House education committee.
Without another Republican senator joining the two who say they'll vote against the education secretary nominee, the tally appears to be 50-50, assuming all Democrats vote "no."
It's unclear whether President Donald Trump's $20 billion federal voucher plan has legs. But don't mistake that for a lack of overall enthusiasm among GOP lawmakers for expanding school choice.
The recommendations include ideas like collecting better data on student outcomes, improving access to early childhood education, and beefing-up teacher quality.
"She clearly said to me that the states need to be in control of a lot of these decisions," said Chris Minnich, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said they would vote against DeVos over concerns about her track record with and knowledge of public schools.
A 2015 Senate vote on a federal school choice bill provides a clue about which senators might not be big DeVos fans.