The Senate confirmedas U.S. education secretary on Monday. The vote was 64 to 33, with more than a dozen Republicans joining Democrats to confirm him.
Cardona is currently Connecticut's education commissioner.
Cardona takes his post as some schools across the country remain closed to in-person learning amid the. While millions of students are learning in person, millions also haven't set foot inside a classroom in nearly a year.
"We're here today in the midst of one of the most challenging school years in American history," Cardona said during his confirmation hearing. "For far too many of our students, this year has piled on crisis after crisis." During his confirmation hearing,about how to return children to school but did say that educators should be prioritized for vaccine distribution.
The National Education Association gave a nod of approval to Cardona in a statement.
"Secretary Cardona is someone who respects educators as the professionals that they are, will listen to our experiences as the people who know the names of our students, and will ensure that we have a voice in developing and implementing education policy. He will be a true partner for educators at the Department of Education," NEA President Becky Pringle said in a statement.
— CBS News' John Nolen contributed to this report.