Dr. Miguel Cardona Confirmed as Secretary of Education

Updated Mar 2, 2021

The U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Miguel Cardona as secretary of education on Monday with a 64 to 33 vote.

Vice President Kamala Harris will swear him in on Tuesday morning. The following day, Cardona and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will go to his hometown, Meriden, Connecticut, for an event focused on safely reopening schools.

Dr. Miguel CardonaDr. Miguel Cardona

“At this moment of crisis, Dr. Cardona is exactly the leader we need at the Department of Education,” said Sen. Patty Murray, chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “He has the experience, principles and perspective that we need in this critical role.”

Cardona — Connecticut’s commissioner of education since 2019 — served as an elementary school teacher in Meriden, Connecticut, the same public school system he attended. He then worked as a principal for a decade before becoming Meriden’s assistant superintendent for teaching and learning 2013.

The new education secretary ultimately received support from both sides of the aisle. He is expected to reverse some of former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s policies, notably on protections for defrauded students and Title IX guidelines.

In his confirmation hearing, Cardona put an emphasis on addressing disparities in education.

“These inequities will endure, and they will prevent the potential of this great country unless tackled head-on,” he said. “It would be my greatest privilege if confirmed to forge opportunity out of this crisis.”