Biden’s Education Secretary Confirmed – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Monday simply confirmed Miguel A. Cardona, a profession educator who rose through Connecticut’s education system to turn into a pacesetter within the effort to reopen pandemic-shuttered faculties, as the subsequent schooling secretary.

His nomination was authorised by a vote of 64 to 33.

Dr. Cardona, who was tapped by President Biden to guide the Training Division from his submit as Connecticut’s schooling commissioner, had sailed through a confirmation hearing final month. He drew bipartisan assist for his success in reopening a majority of Connecticut’s faculties and for his conciliatory positions on divisive schooling points.

Dr. Cardona’s private background and profession — a pointy distinction to that of his predecessor Betsy DeVos, a billionaire private-school champion — drew widespread reward.

The son of Puerto Rican mother and father, he grew up in public housing in Meriden, Conn., and attended public faculties all through his life. He began as a struggling English-language learner and went on to turn into an elementary-school trainer, an award-winning principal, an assistant superintendent in that college system and Connecticut’s first Latino commissioner of schooling.

All through his affirmation course of, Dr. Cardona has elevated his identification, usually switching between English and Spanish throughout public appearances.

“I, being bilingual and bicultural, am as American as apple pie and rice and beans,” he stated throughout his December nomination speech when he was introduced by Mr. Biden. A bunch from his hometown put the quote on mugs, and it has turn into a fund-raiser for a neighborhood scholarship fund.

Dr. Cardona promised to assist information public faculties via the worst public well being disaster in a century, which has left thousands and thousands of scholars with haphazard education for almost a 12 months and faculty districts reeling from educational, psychological well being and budgetary setbacks.

Dr. Cardona instructed senators final month that he would “do every part in my energy to guarantee that our rollout technique for reopening faculties contains communication on the way to safely reopen.”

He additionally strongly endorsed the billions of {dollars} that the Biden administration is pushing to make sure faculties have sufficient security measures and staffing to take action. “If we actually need to recuperate, we have to make investments now or we’re going to pay later,” he stated.

The Senate Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions Committee superior Dr. Cardona’s nomination on Feb. 11, with leaders of each events expressing confidence in two areas that have been challenges for Ms. DeVos: his {qualifications} and his willingness to work with Congress. Through the listening to, he demonstrated information of federal coverage and the intricacies of sophistication sizes. He additionally walked a superb line on points which are dicey for each events, together with constitution faculties and standardized testing.

The schooling submit, as soon as a quiet cupboard place, grew to become probably the most high-profile and divisive jobs within the Trump administration.

Dr. Cardona is anticipated to supervise an ambitious agenda set by the Biden administration that seeks to reverse just about every part the earlier administration has achieved, whereas pursuing new objectives like delivering giant infusions of federal funding to the nation’s public faculties. The division additionally shrank significantly under the Trump administration, and morale was among the many worst of any authorities company.

Not like Ms. DeVos, Dr. Cardona has little expertise in politics and is basically untested within the partisan battles that await him.

In the one tense trade with Republican lawmakers throughout his affirmation listening to, Dr. Cardona signaled that he wouldn’t bend to some political pressures, significantly these regarding civil rights. When requested whether or not he would enable transgender feminine college students to compete on sports activities groups with organic females — a problem that’s certain to be the topic of coverage and courtroom battles — he stated he believed that “faculties ought to provide the chance for college students to interact in extracurricular actions, even when they’re transgender.”

After the listening to, Dr. Cardona tweeted a short message — the one public assertion he made as he awaited his last affirmation vote. “All means all,” he wrote.

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