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Senate confirms Biden's Education secretary

Senate confirms Biden's Education secretary
© New York Times/Pool

The Senate on Monday confirmed President BidenJoe BidenBiden eyes bigger US role in global vaccination efforts Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech Kemp: Pulling All-Star game out of Atlanta will hurt business owners of color MORE’s pick to lead the Department of Education.

Senators voted 64-33 on Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaResidencies are a key tool to diversifying the nation's teacher force Education Department moves to reverse Trump-era rules on campus sexual misconduct Hillicon Valley: Grid security funding not included in Biden's infrastructure plan | Russia fines Twitter | Lawmakers call for increased school cybersecurity MORE, a former teacher who previously served as education commissioner in Connecticut, to be Biden’s secretary of Education. He is succeeding Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Education Department moves to reverse Trump-era rules on campus sexual misconduct Watchdog says DeVos made nine figures in outside income during Trump years MORE, who served under former President TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE.

Cardona was voted out of committee on Feb. 11, with five Republicans opposing his nomination at the time. He's one of at least two Cabinet picks the Senate is expected to confirm this week.

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He faced a slew of questions about operating schools during the coronavirus during his confirmation hearing, including not taking a firm position on standardized testing during the pandemic.

Cardona is poised to take over the department as schools nationwide are grappling with how and when they can have in-person learning again as a growing number of Americans become vaccinated but cases are still prevalent.

And the vote comes as Congress is in the middle of a debate over another round of coronavirus aid, with Republicans seeking to weaponize closed schools against Biden and congressional Democrats.

Cardona pledged during his hearing that the administration would "work to reopen schools safely."

The Washington Post reported last month that Cardona, in his role as Connecticut's Education commissioner, pushed to reopen schools.

Biden has vowed to reopen most K-8 schools within his first 100 days of being in office.

"I think many of them five days a week. The goal will be five days a week," he said during a CNN town hall last month.