Organizational Announcements and Statements (10)

January 24, 2021

Senator Charles E. Schumer
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Senator Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McConnell:

We are the first Latino-founded and led national organization dedicated to creating leadership pathways for Latinos in education. Our mission is to develop, place and connect Latino leaders into the education sector, because the research shows that a diverse teaching force can improve the quality of a student’s education. We are dedicated to supporting the needs of Latino students, who will soon make up one in every three school aged children in our nation’s public schools, and ensuring they receive a high-quality education. For the reasons set forth below, we urge the Senate to vote to confirm Dr. Miguel Cardona to be the next United States Secretary of Education.

Our nation’s education system was already failing Latino students even before the COVID-19 pandemic, but this pandemic has created a crisis for Latino students who still lack access to devices and broadband, are carrying the emotional toll of losing loved ones, and experiencing inconsistent learning across the board. Now, more than ever, we need a leader with a proven track record of putting equity front and center, and Dr. Cardona is that person.

The next Secretary of Education must address the widening opportunity gaps that COVID-19 has exacerbated and provide guidance on how students can return to school safely. Dr. Cardona has already demonstrated his experience and expertise in this difficult area. Under his leadership as Commissioner of Education, Connecticut was the first state in the nation to provide devices and internet connectivity to all students in the state. Furthermore, under Commissioner Cardona, the Connecticut State Department of Education has tracked and made public significant data about student learning models. This initiative has provided crucial insight regarding student participation rates and transparency regarding the disparities between racial groups in attendance and engagement with virtual instruction. This is something we are closely monitoring in Massachusetts through our #TechParaTodos campaign because we continue to see thousands of families lack the needed technology to participate in virtual learning.

The next Secretary of Education must also recognize that while our student population has become much more racially and culturally diverse, those who teach and make decisions for students still do not reflect this reality. Dr. Cardona is a strong supporter of educator diversity, which we know benefits the academic performance of students of color as well as white students. If we want to get serious about transforming our education system, it must begin by creating more pathways for aspiring educators of color to enter the workforce.

Finally, as a first-generation college student, Dr. Cardona understands the challenges that Latino students face when trying to access and complete a college degree. Having a Secretary who can keep college opportunities accessible to our nation’s students of color will be key to ensuring they have the skills and training needed to keep our post-COVID economy moving forward.

Dr. Cardona has been committed to identifying and reducing achievement gaps for students; he has been diligent about getting students connected to virtual instruction while remaining focused on their safe return to the classroom; and he has been outspoken in diversifying the educator workforce. Thank you for your prompt consideration of Dr. Cardona’s nomination.


Amanda Fernandez Signature




Amanda Fernández, Founder and CEO of Latinos for Education