Henry M. Smith
February 1, 2021
It is with great enthusiasm, and relief, that so many educators looked forward to the arrival of the Biden Administration and the new U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona. With their leadership, the department will finally provide programs and funding for reopening schools across the country. And while the new administration has no bigger challenge than fighting COVID-19, we should also take a moment to consider the other critical challenges that American education faces.
For anyone paying attention this year, we were reminded of a valuable civics lesson: States and cities must balance their budgets, but the federal government can print more money when it is broke. We heard much about these funding needs as the nation’s governors pleaded with the federal government for test kits, PPEs and ventilators to fight COVID-19. So, before the Republicans in Congress start worrying about federal budget deficits again, the Department of Education should pour money into our country’s beleaguered school systems. Here are a few suggestions for the new Secretary of Education and his team to consider that would substantially impact critical issues in American education.