Here comes another sign of big government brewing in Washington D.C. Miguel Cardona, President Biden’s Education Secretary, made a pretty big hesitation on Thursday that sent some shock waves around the country. He stopped short of claiming that it was parents who should be the “primary” stakeholders in their children’s education.
The Education Secretary was sitting before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Thursday. He was there to testify on school reopening strategies and policies around COVID-19. While being questioned by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), Cardona refused to call parents the “primary stakeholders” in a child’s education.
Braun asked Cardona, “Do you think parents should be in charge of their child’s education as the primary stakeholder?”
The Education Secretary responded, “I believe parents are important stakeholders, but I also believe educators have a role in determining educational programming.”
The senator immediately called the response out of focus. He reminded Cardona that across all elements of education, it is the parents who pay the bills and raise the kids, so they most likely need to be the “primary spokespeople” for their own children’s good education.
This isn’t the first time that Cardona has created a backlash from Republicans on several education-related issues since he took the post as the head of the Department of Education. It was back in April that two Republican congressmen sent a letter to Cardona denouncing an Education Department grant program that encouraged the use of Critical Race Theory in the school curriculum.
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), one of the signers of the letter, told The Daily Wire at the time that Critical Race Theory was antithetical to the fundamental values and beliefs of America and the American dream.
The letter also indicated that the 1619 Project is historically inaccurate and racially divisive. It argues that the entire American system is corrupt from top to bottom. Lamborn and the other signers said that schools obviously have a crucial role to play in making students aware of the negative consequences of slavery and the significant contributions of Black Americans. But they said our schools should never prioritize educational grants for schools that promote attacks on the principles enshrined in our Constitution.
Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, went toe to toe with Cardona at his confirmation hearing in February. The then-nominee stated that trans athletes should be allowed to compete in girls’ sports. Cardona said that he believed it was critically important that our education system and educators respected the rights of all students, including transgender students, and that they are afforded the same opportunities that every student has to participate in extracurricular activities.
The nominee made it even more clear by saying that he thought it was the legal responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities and that it included students who were transgender.
Sen. Paul responded with some intensity later saying that allowing biological males to compete against girls is “bizarre,” and he also said, “not very fair.” He went further, noting that to take a boy that’s six-foot-two and having him compete against his five-foot-four niece didn’t sound very fair. Paul added that he thought most people in the country would think it’s bizarre.
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D), who is vying for his old job in the governor’s mansion back, also came under fire for similar comments. McAuliffe said that parents should not dictate what curriculum is being taught to their children in schools.
Cardona also failed to fully answer questions on school reopening discretions and decision-making processes for mask-wearing policies for children in schools.