If confirmed, Cardona would oversee getting the majority of the nation's students back into schools.
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President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Dr. Miguel Cardona, 45, Connecticut's commissioner of education, as Secretary of Education in his Cabinet. If confirmed by the Senate, Cardona would oversee getting students back into schools, which is something Biden has pledged to do within his first 100 days in office. Many students across the country have been receiving their education virtually because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"Even as we work to reopen our schools safely and responsibly, we also need to build a public education system that lifts up all Americans, regardless of race, background, or zip code," Biden said in a statement. "I look forward to working alongside him to help every child reach their God-given potential."

During his campaign, Biden said he would choose someone who taught in public schools for education secretary; Cardona began his career as an elementary school teacher in Connecticut and then served as a school principal for 10 years. "With Dr. Miguel Cardona leading the way, we're going to ensure every student in this country receives a high-quality education," Biden tweeted. "Tune in as I nominate him to be our next Secretary of Education."

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont appointed Cardona as the state's education commissioner in August 2019. If confirmed, Cardona would be the second Puerto Rican and the third Latino Secretary of Education, after John B. King, Jr., who served in the Obama administration, and Lauro Cavazos, who served in the Reagan and Bush administrations. He will also join the many Latinos who are already set to join Biden's Cabinet next year.

Estela López, the vice-chair of the Connecticut State Board of Education, shared with NBC News that she began to cry when she learned of Cardona's nomination. "This was to me very similar to when Justice Sonia Sotomayor was appointed because this is so significant and symbolic," López said. "Like Sotomayor, Cardona grew up in the projects. When he went to school, he didn't speak English. His life story is very compelling."