[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) met virtually with President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Connecticut Commissioner of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona. Dr. Cardona was born and raised in Meriden, Connecticut; attended Central Connecticut State and the University of Connecticut; and has spent his career working in Connecticut’s public school systems.
During the meeting, Blumenthal and Cardona discussed several issues relating to higher education, including student loan forgiveness, borrower defense rules for students defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges, and sexual assault on college campuses. Blumenthal and Cardona also spoke about the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs, which help students process trauma. Blumenthal has worked closely with advocates like Scarlett Lewis to promote SEL initiatives, and Connecticut is a leader integrating SEL in the Kindergarten through Grade 3 Social, Emotional, and Intellectual Habits Framework.
“Miguel Cardona is a son of Meriden’s public schools and state universities, a hands-on teacher and manager, and a leader of vision and courage. I am very proud to have one of Connecticut’s finest public servants serving in this critical role as we try to undo the damage of the last four years. He will be missed here in Connecticut, but the entire nation will now benefit from his talent and leadership.”
“Today we discussed our shared commitment to expanding social and emotional learning programs, which help students learn how to process trauma. Many social and emotional learning initiatives were developed in response to gun violence in our schools, but the lessons are just as relevant for kids who are suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturn, and racial justice crisis.”
“Although Dr. Cardona has spent much of his classroom career working with younger students, he is also very well-versed in higher education issues. I am especially looking forward to working together on ways to lessen the burden of student loan debt – a crisis that is now even more urgently in demand of a solution. For the sake of our entire economy, as well as individuals, student debt forgiveness is so, so important. I am also glad to have a partner at the Department of Education who shares a commitment to stopping the staggeringly prevalent scourge of campus sexual assaults.”
“Across all these issues, one thing is clear: Dr. Cardona’s clear commitment to students. It’s a welcome change.”