Updated 2:28 p.m. | A White House official confirmed that Education Secretary Arne Duncan intends to step down in December, with President Barack Obama planning to replace him with his deputy, John B. King Jr.
That will leave Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as the only original member of the president's Cabinet still serving. Duncan's decision comes as the House and Senate are still working out their differences on a long-overdue rewrite of the No Child Left Behind law, with the prospects still uncertain amid a full legislative plate. With a little over a year left in Obama's term, the president doesn't intent to formally nominate King, who would likely face a bruising process in the Senate with a backdrop of presidential politics. Instead, he's expected to serve as acting secretary indefinitely.