Miguel Cardona, a former public school teacher who went on to become Connecticut’s education chief
The US Senate on Monday (local time) voted to confirm President Joe Biden‘s pick Miguel Cardona to lead the Department of Education.
Cardona, 45, a former public school teacher who went on to become Connecticut’s education chief, was approved on a 64-33 vote, CNN reported. President Biden has pledged to reopen most schools by May, within his first 100 days in office, and is pushing Congress to approve another USD 170 billion in education funding.
Cardona, whose family is from Puerto Rico, enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of Connecticut’s public education system. He began his career as a fourth-grade teacher in Meriden, in the same district where he attended school.
Cardona soon became a principal and then assistant superintendent of the district before being named state commissioner in 2019, CNN reported.
It further reported that his predecessor, Betsy DeVos, was a controversial nominee from the start when former US Vice President Mike Pence had to make a tie-breaking vote to confirm her to the role. DeVos, a staunch school choice and private school advocate, had almost no experience in public education and was often at odds with the teachers’ unions.
The unions back Cardona and are pleased with Biden’s push to reopen schools but have warned that the 100-day reopening timeline may need to be a goal rather than a fixed target, CNN reported.