Senate

Senate confirms Biden’s Education secretary

New York Times/Pool

The Senate on Monday confirmed President Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Education.

Senators voted 64-33 on Miguel Cardona, a former teacher who previously served as education commissioner in Connecticut, to be Biden’s secretary of Education. He is succeeding Betsy DeVos, who served under former President Trump.

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.

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.

Tags Betsy DeVos Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic Donald Trump Joe Biden Miguel Cardona school reopening
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