John King Jr., accompanied by President Obama, speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in October. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

The Senate education committee plans to consider President Obama’s nominee for education secretary at a confirmation hearing at 2 p.m. on Feb. 25.

John King Jr. has been serving as acting secretary of education since his predecessor, Arne Duncan, stepped down at the end of 2015.

It had initially appeared that Obama would not formally nominate King, forgoing the confirmation process. But White House officials said they were encouraged by the bipartisan support that King has received so far.

The administration also wants to have King in the official role as Congress considers higher education legislation, according to officials who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the education committee, said last week that he was pleased that the administration had nominated a secretary and promised a “prompt and fair hearing.”

“For proper accountability, especially as we work with the administration on implementing the new law governing elementary and secondary education, 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.