In the two years that Miguel Cardona has held the highest education position in the country, he has encountered a number of challenges he never faced before.
Miguel Cardona Calls Out The Supreme Court
Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed affirmative action in another decision, defying 45 years of precedent, and rejected President Joe Biden‘s plan to cancel student loans. As Republican lawmakers solidify their support bases ahead of the 2024 presidential election, the country is now experiencing a shortage of teachers and an unprecedented increase in book-banning attempts from parents and conservative groups.
When TIME recently reached out to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, he stated that the system of higher education needs fixing. Bipartisan support was needed to enact the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program in 2007. It states that after paying off debts for 10 years if a borrower decides to pursue a career in public service, their debt would be canceled. This is intended to encourage individuals to enter public service fields like teaching or nursing. All of this came from Cardona himself.
Miguel Cardona’s Optimism
When asked about Biden’s new student loan forgiveness plan under the Higher Education Act, Miguel Cardona answered that to ensure that a strategy will reach as many borrowers as possible and offers them as much relief immediately, the department has been working closely with the White House and the Department of Justice. Miguel Cardona added that Republican leaders would try and sue them and obstruct them at every opportunity. He added further that many of the same people who are obstructing the relief initiatives have received debt relief totaling more than $1,000,000 for themselves. Miguel Cardona labeled this hypocrisy as “astounding”.
As TIME asked Miguel Cardona about the Department of Education’s stance on the decision of the Supreme Court to overturn affirmative action, he answered that the Supreme Court’s judgment caused them to move backward is another thing. In Miguel Cardona’s opinion, what the Supreme Court did was “very wrong”. The decision misses the fact that, despite their best efforts, according to him, fairness is still non-existent in the country.