President-elect Biden picks Connecticut schools chief as education secretary
UPDATE: 7:44 P.M. - President-elect Biden's team has made the official announcement. Original story below.
Connecticut's schools chief is headed to Washington, D.C. Dr. Miguel Cardona is President-elect Joe Biden's pick for national education secretary.
Cardona has led more than a half a million students through the pandemic.
Now, President-elect Biden is poised to tap Cardona as U.S. education secretary.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal lobbied for Cardona. He grew up in public housing in Meriden and didn't even speak English as a child.
"There's no limit to what you can do, or how far you can go, even if you start school speaking a different language," said Blumenthal.
Cardona would replace Betsy DeVos, President Trump's wealthy education secretary who shifted money away from public schools and cut student loan relief.
Cardona helped get 100,000 laptops to Connecticut students. And he aggressively pushed for kids to come back to in person classrooms.
This summer, teachers protested, but the state's biggest teacher union says Cardona is the right choice for the job.
"Yes, we've had differences. But overall, the commissioner did very well with the pandemic and all the uncertainty when it first hit. And since that time, he's worked collaboratively. We've had a seat at the table," said Don Williams, Connecticut Education Association executive director.
Gov. Ned Lamont says Cardona gave parents stability.
"Working through COVID, you saw the on-again, off-again with the schools in our neighboring states. I think he was steady," said Lamont.
Biden is expected to make the official announcement Wednesday. After that, the Senate has to confirm Cardona.