Statement on the Confirmation of Miguel Cardona as the Next Secretary of Education

March 01, 2021

Today, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Miguel Cardona, Connecticut’s education commissioner, to be the next Secretary of Education. With strong bipartisan support, the Senate reinforced its commitment to education at all levels.  NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M. released the following statement:
“As a former elementary school teacher, principal, and now the education commissioner for the state of Connecticut, new Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has seen the transformative effect education can have on students, families, and communities.
“Our Connecticut member presidents speak very highly of the work Secretary Cardona has led in the state on college access and success.  They also point to his leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in working to safely re-open schools.
“Education can be the great equalizer.  But we must ensure that students have the access they need to be successful, graduate and, eventually, move up the economic ladder.  We look forward to working with Secretary Cardona on issues such as the recovery for our students, their families and our institutions of higher education from the pandemic, college access and success for low-income and first generation students, strengthening federal financial aid, appropriate accountability, and the importance of the diversity of American higher education (among many other pressing issues). 
“We also look forward to working together to help ensure that colleges and universities have the tools and resources to safely keep campuses open full time and that students, faculty, and staff have the resources, including mental health resources, to continue their efforts.
“There will be challenges and difficult conversations ahead for all who are involved in education.  Secretary Cardona’s lifetime commitment to education will serve our students and institutions well during his tenure.
“While his career has been spent at the secondary education levels, Secretary Cardona and the Administration have assembled an excellent higher education team.  James Kvaal’s nomination as Undersecretary of Education and Michelle Asha Cooper’s appointment as deputy assistant secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education are sound choices who will both be strong advocates for higher education.  Both have a deep background in higher education policy that they will bring to the Education Department. We have worked with both James and Michelle in their previous positions and look forward to engaging with them again as they settle in to their new positions.”

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