02.25.21

Burr Supports Qualified Secretary of Education Pick, Underscores Importance of Reopening Schools

Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, expressed his support of Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education and stressed the importance of following science to bring students back to the classroom.

Senator Burr Floor Speech to Confirm Miguel Cardona

WATCH: Senator Burr delivers remarks on the Senate floor ahead of Dr. Miguel Cardona’s confirmation vote

Key excerpts:

“[Dr. Cardona] has the background, qualifications, and temperament to serve in this position. 

“COVID-19 related school closures have led to significant learning loss, with millions of children stuck at home, trying to learn. Parents are at their wits end because many of the adults running public schools across our country are failing to actually follow the science. We should be seriously talking about reopening schools as quickly as possible. That's what the science tells us. And it's what students need.

“When Dr. Cardona testified before the Senate HELP Committee, he stressed the need for students to get back in schools, and I'm glad that's now, finally, a bipartisan mission. At the same time, each school district, college, university, state, and local community faces different circumstances in dealing with this pandemic. Trying to treat them as a monolith, instead of providing flexible advice for states and localities to use if applicable and useful, would be a mistake. Dr. Cardona said he understands that one size fits all mandates from Washington won't work.

“Dr. Cardona also agreed to be responsive to our oversight requests and to keep us updated on his plans and departmental actions.

“We won't agree on everything, but we should be able to find places where we can agree. I support the nomination of Dr. Cardona and I look forward to working with him.”

Dr. Miguel Cardona testified before the Senate HELP Committee on February 3, 2021, and was confirmed by the Committee by a vote of 17-5 on February 11, 2021.