The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT)
Jill Biden, education secretary to visit school
First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will visit two public schools open for in-person learning on Wednesday, one in Meriden — Cardona’s hometown where he previously taught — and one in Waterford, Pennsylvania.
The trip is intended to showcase the Biden’s administration’s commitment to helping schools reopen for in-person classes, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. President Joe Biden has set a goal of getting a majority of K-12 students taking classes in school five days a week by his 100th day in office, April 30.
The First Lady and Secretary Cardona “will highlight the key CDC mitigation strategies that the schools have implemented successfully in these locations, listen to the challenges they are facing due to the pandemic, including the academic, social and emotional needs of students, highlight the additional resources in the American Rescue Plan needed for schools to remain open and address the needs of students, and thank educators for their work in supporting students and their families,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.
Cardona, who was Connecticut’s Education Commissioner, will be sworn in as Secretary of Education on Tuesday evening. He was confirmed by the Senate in a bipartisan vote on Monday night.
“It’s the honor of my life to be sworn in as nation’s 12th education secretary,” Cardona tweeted on Tuesday. “Now it’s time to get to work for students.”
Cardona and Biden will visit the Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Meriden on Wednesday. Wednesday will be Cardona’s first official day as Secretary and for Biden, the trip will be one of her first domestic travels.
Biden is a community college educator and has a doctorate in education, as does Cardona.
Cardona previously was a 4th grade teacher and principal in Meriden, but taught at different schools than the one he and Biden will visit Wednesday. His wife, Marissa, is a middle school liaison and his two children attend Meriden schools.
In Meriden, local officials have been scrambling to prepare for the visit with local police coordinating with the Secret Service on security and public works employees launching some last minute sidewalk cleaning and pothole-filling to spruce up the city.
Cardona has said his top priority as secretary will be helping schools reopen for in-person learning.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance for reopening schools last month and has crafted detailed recommendations on how schools can operate safely during the pandemic.
Congress is considering a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that would include billions to support education institutions.