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    What We Know About The New Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona

    President Biden’s nominee, Dr. Miguel Cardona, is formally set to switch Betsy DeVos as the subsequent U.S. Secretary of Schooling.

    After being confirmed by the Senate with a 64-33 vote on March 1, 2020, he’ll now take cost of the Division of Schooling throughout a time when faculty reopenings and pupil mortgage reduction are on the heart of many debates.

    Right here’s what we find out about Dr. Cardona to this point and the way his potential insurance policies might affect you.

    Who’s Dr. Miguel Cardona?

    Dr. Cardona is the brand new Secretary of Schooling for the federal authorities. Previous to his affirmation, he served as Connecticut’s commissioner of schooling.

    He has a broad background in Ok-12 colleges, starting his profession as an elementary faculty trainer. Dr. Cardona then progressed into different roles inside public colleges, together with serving because the youngest principal in Connecticut and later as an administrator.

    Different notable info about Dr. Cardona embrace:

    • He was a first-generation school pupil.
    • Spanish is his first language.
    • He holds 5 levels or certificates from Connecticut universities, together with his bachelor’s, grasp’s, doctorate and superintendent certificates.
    • He was Connecticut’s first Latino schooling commissioner.

    Dr. Cardona doesn’t have expertise in Washington D.C., however he obtained reward from each side of the political aisle throughout his Senate affirmation listening to.

    In brief, it seems he’ll depend on his first-hand expertise (and the enter of many stakeholders) to champion college students, households and educators.

    Dr. Miguel Cardona’s Senate affirmation listening to

    Very similar to throughout former Schooling Secretary Betsy DeVos’ affirmation listening to, senators requested only a few questions associated to larger schooling. The first focus was on safely reopening colleges and schools throughout the nation.

    Discussions included the necessity for assets to fight studying loss and to handle the trauma skilled all through this pandemic. In addition they concerned questions surrounding weak populations of scholars (e.g. college students with disabilities and LGBTQ college students).

    These are all urgent points, however we didn’t hear an excessive amount of about his place or plans surrounding larger schooling past his intent to enhance entry to alternatives for all.

    Senator Burr briefly talked about the federal pupil mortgage freeze and his choice to keep away from present mortgage cancellation proposals. As an alternative, he pushed for laws that “dramatically simplifies pupil mortgage compensation choices” and caps funds at 10% of discretionary earnings with mortgage forgiveness after 20 years.

    Senator Warren tackled the coed debt dialogue head-on, regardless of having distant connection points. She introduced up considerations associated to pupil mortgage debtors who didn’t graduate and the affect of pupil debt on Black and Latino debtors. She additionally acknowledged she believes the Secretary of Schooling has the facility to supply mortgage cancellation.

    Though these subjects had been rapidly touched upon, no direct questions associated to pupil mortgage cancellation or compensation had been requested of Dr. Cardona.

    However he did have an opportunity to emphasise his help for strengthening group schools and profession and technical schooling pathways.

    Watch Dr. Cardona’s Senate affirmation listening to for your self. Skip ahead to the 15:30 minute mark.

    Why this issues to you

    Between his background in Ok-12 schooling and the pandemic’s affect on colleges throughout the nation, there’s nice emphasis on transferring ahead with safely reopening colleges and protecting them open.

    When you’ve got school-aged kids, these discussions associated to instant reopening options and long-term assets ought to be of explicit curiosity.

    Nevertheless, on the subject of larger schooling insurance policies, we don’t count on him to make dramatic adjustments. However we do count on him to align with lots of the larger schooling insurance policies being mentioned by the Biden administration.

    Dr. Cardona hasn’t detailed particular larger schooling plans for his new position as he’s been transferring by the method of being confirmed. However based mostly on discussions and his background, we would see larger schooling coverage adjustments which can be centered on:

    • Offering focused reduction efforts for many who want it essentially the most. This would possibly embrace assets to assist re-engage school college students who’ve suffered academically and financially throughout the pandemic. It may additionally embrace adjustments to income-driven compensation (IDR) plans to make pupil mortgage funds extra reasonably priced.
    • Supporting some stage of pupil mortgage cancellation. Dr. Cardona mentioned he helps President Biden’s plan to again Congressional motion to cancel $10,000 of federal pupil loans per borrower.
    • Creating extra pathways to varsity and technical careers, which could embrace extra reasonably priced group schools. Dr. Cardona has known as group schools “the nation’s best-kept secret” and mentioned that he helps President Biden’s push for no-cost group schools.
    • Making adjustments to the Public Service Mortgage Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Dr. Cardona has signaled his help of President Biden’s larger schooling plans, which can probably embrace plans to repair lots of the PSLF program’s key issues.

    It’s additionally probably that he’ll outsource the administration of the coed mortgage system and comply with by with transitioning to the brand new mortgage servicers.

    Whereas we anticipate extra data, one factor is evident: many pupil debt advocates really feel hopeful about Dr. Cardona’s affirmation and what it might imply for pupil mortgage debtors.

    For instance, Scholar Debt Disaster, a nonprofit devoted to reforming pupil debt and better schooling mortgage insurance policies, launched a press release of help for Dr. Cardona. Government Director Natalia Abrams mentioned:

    “The nomination of Miguel Cardona for Schooling Secretary brings the prospect of hope that present pupil debt reduction packages will probably be carried out because the regulation meant, and hope that complete pupil debt cancellation is inside attain.”

    We’ll proceed to replace you as we be taught extra about Dr. Cardona’s potential larger schooling insurance policies.

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