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Biden Names Miguel Cardona as New EdSec, an Advocate of Safe School Reopening

The education sector has been looking forward to the Biden administration era, more so after the 46th President named Miguel Cardona as new Education Secretary. The Connecticut Education Commissioner has always encouraged Connecticut’s K-12 schools to hold in-person classes during the pandemic. Yet unlike many state education heads, Dr. Cardona does not mandate in-person learning since he acknowledges that local circumstances tend to vary.

In an oped he wrote in the Connecticut Mirror in November, Dr. Cardona stated that in-person classrooms and safe school reopening during the pandemic are not mutually exclusive. To which he wrote:

”We all know distance learning will never replace classroom experience.”…“We also know that when making decisions about school operations, the safety and health of students and their families, as well as of the school staff must be the primary consideration.”

How New EdSec Cardona Fits In President-Elect Biden’s Plan for the Education Sector

President-elect Biden had previously revealed that his plans for the education sector include putting in place guidance on how schools can safely conduct in-person classes. He vows to accomplish this goal by working with state and local leaders during his first 100 days in office.

The incoming 46th POTUS also said that he will call for additional federal funding, citing that in line with his plans to confront the threats of COVID-19, the K-12 schools will need at least $200 billion in emergency funding. The amount is an estimation provided by the Association of Educational Service Agencies and the School Superintendents Association.

Cardona’s Views on Rights and Equity in the Education System

On the issue of rights and equity, which Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy Devos had disparaged when she rolled back the rights of transgender students, the protection of students against racial and social injustice, as well as against racially discriminatory discipline.

In his first public speech after being designated as new Secretary of the Department of Education, Dr. Cardona, whose parents hail from Puerto Rico, acknowledged that deep-rooted inequity exists and has been the source of opportunity gaps in the education sector. He believes that the President-elect’s plans of investing in education will bring transformative powers. He said that the longstanding and most painful disparities have been wrenched open even wider, adding that

”Too many students, their zip code and their skin color have been the best predictor of the opportunities they will have in their lifetime.”

Education Sector Also Looks Forward to Biden’s Plan for Early Childhood Education

Even before the Trump administration and during the past decades, several states have passed their own initiatives in adopting programs for publicly-funded preschool education. Pioneered by Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2001, high-quality, early childhood education programs have yielded promising long term results that several jurisdictions namely New York, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. have followed suit by legislating their own early childhood education programs.

Among President-elect Joe Biden’s plans for the education system is the broadening of high-quality universal prekindergarten education by including children ages three and four year olds.

The positive views on how the education system will take shape under the Biden administration extend to the business sector as they will likewise see a revitalization of their operations. Even makers of new york banners are looking forward to once again, becoming part of traditional school events and programs.

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