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Making the Grade: New Secretary of Education will have an impact on Idaho

Posted at 12:31 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 10:51:24-05

There's a new federal education secretary and his policies will have a direct impact on Idaho school districts. In a 64 to 33 vote, Senators approved Dr. Miguel Cardona as President Joe Biden's Secretary of Education.

Related: Biden nominating head of Connecticut schools for education secretary

Both Idaho senators voted "no" to the confirmation. Cardona most recently served as Schools Chief in Connecticut but started his career as a fourth-grade public school teacher.

One of Cardona's first tasks is to push Mr. Biden's stimulus plan, which includes $129 billion for K-12 schools. There is already talk in Idaho about how best to spend that money.

"What state education leaders want to do is let's start to put that money into learning loss," said Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News. "Let's try to figure out where the learning loss is most acute and try to help kids get back up to speed. Get them back up to grade level after this year plus of interrupted and disrupted learning."

Dr. Cardona will immediately begin working on Biden's plan to reopen most elementary and middle schools by the end of April. The new education secretary is also tasked with how to help states administer spring standardized tests to determine the amount of learning loss over the past year.