March 1 (UPI) -- The Senate voted Monday to confirm the nomination of Miguel Cardona as President Joe Biden's selection to serve as secretary of education.
Cardona's nomination was approved by a 64-33 vote, placing him at the forefront of Biden's plan to return most schools to in-person instruction within his first 100 days in office.
"From early education to higher education, we need to make sure students and their families have the support they need to not only make ends meet, but to make sure every student can thrive," Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the chair of the Senate committee on health, education, labor and pensions said. "At this moment of crisis, Dr. Cardona is exactly the leader we need at the Department of Education to tackle these challenges."
Cardona, 45, was born in Puerto Rico and worked as a public school teacher, principal and administrator before being named as the first Latino Connecticut commissioner of education in 2019.
While at the helm of Connecticut's schools he pushed for the state to reopen classroom learning after schools moved to remote learning at the beginning of the pandemic.
"We were open and transparent with what we knew and we made sure that we partnered with our health experts to put out very clear guidance early on to make sure that the mitigation strategies were very clear," he said of the efforts during his confirmation hearing last month.
He pledged to bring "that same mentality of partnership and clear communication" to the education secretary role.