Washington, D.C — Following President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination on Tuesday of Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona to be U.S. secretary of education, Mara Rudman, executive vice president for Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
President-elect Biden’s nomination of Miguel Cardona for secretary of education means that our country’s 77 million students will soon be under the stewardship of someone with genuine experience in the field of education: a former public elementary school teacher, administrator, and principal of the year. His tenure will be a refreshing and long-overdue change from the past four years of inept and cruel oversight at this crucial agency.
Today’s announcement will come as a relief to thousands of school districts that have been waiting months for federal leadership in the midst of a pandemic. Cardona has a proven track record of working with health officials to ensure in-person instruction can be carried out safely and effectively, and he will be well-equipped to carry out the Biden administration’s plan to responsibly reopen a majority of schools in the president-elect’s first 100 days in office.
As a product of public schools, Cardona is proof positive of the outsize impact that quality public education can have on a child. Rather than a secretary of education who undermines access to education for low-income students, the country will have one who was raised in a housing project and knows that a zip code shouldn’t determine a child’s future. Rather than have a secretary of education who attempts to redirect taxpayer dollars away from public education, the country will have one who fights to dramatically increase federal funding for public school students. And critically, Miguel Cardona will validate the concept that a child’s education begins at birth and will work to ensure that our youngest and most vulnerable children have the resources they need to prepare for a lifetime of learning.
President-elect Biden’s pick of Miguel Cardona demonstrates his commitment to the progressive education agenda he laid out during the campaign, including universal pre-K, higher teacher pay, and free college education for families with incomes less than $125,000. Cardona’s confirmation will be a victory for millions of parents, students, and educators across the country.