El secretario Miguel Cardona. En entrevista con Impacto durante su visita a Pensilvania. 20 de Marzo 2024

United States Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, met this week with a group of teachers, administrators, and other educators to discuss the federal aid program. The meeting took place at George Washington Elementary School in the Lancaster area. 

A Costa Rican-descendant educator shared how the federal aid program recently freed her from debt. Cardona promoted the program, which forgives student loans for qualified government workers or nonprofit organization employees after they make monthly debt payments for ten years. 

Cardona stated that he and Biden will continue seeking other ways to forgive loans for borrowers after last year, when the US Supreme Court ultimately thwarted his Administration’s efforts to forgive student loans of up to $10,000 for borrowers earning less than $125,000 annually. 

Had that initiative passed, Cardona highlights that 1 in 2 Latino students could have settled their debt. 

His visit coincided with the announcement that to alleviate the burden of student debt, employers in Pennsylvania could receive a tax credit for contributing to their employees’ tuition savings accounts. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed the bill last Wednesday, and it is now in the Senate. 

Cardona also toured the construction site of an affordable housing project being built by students from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. During his visit, he engaged with other students from Griscom Educational Center and Thaddeus Stevens’ President, Pedro Rivera, formerly Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education. 

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona meets with Thaddeus Stevens President Pedro Rivera, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Education. (Photo provided)
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona meets with Thaddeus Stevens President Pedro Rivera, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Education. (Photo provided)

Throughout his visit, he advocated for access to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and federal college grants, such as the Pell Grant. 


Cardona is one of four Latino members of Biden’s cabinet. Along with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Small Business Administration Administrator Isabel Guzman, he is part of the most diverse cabinet in U.S. history. 

«The president understands that if we are going to serve the country, we must have representation and perspectives from different people. When he chose me, he told me: ‘I want someone who not only understands what is happening to parents but also to teachers; someone who understands what is happening inside schools.’ The diversity in the cabinet is tremendous. It looks like this country, very diverse.» 

«The president was very intentional in seeking out people with different perspectives to come together to accelerate the progress of this country.» 

Although Cardona does not consider himself a politician, he believes that the progress made in the last three years makes this one of the best administrations. 

He says many changes are coming in access to health care, education, and debt relief. «There are more scholarships with this president than with any other… He is not only looking for us but also for policies that reflect our values to promote equal opportunity in this country.» 

«It is very important to not only have a seat at the table, but also to make decisions for the administration,» he adds. 

Promoting policies will help the Latino community. «We are fighting for Latinos because we know that our numbers are growing and that is good for this country.» 

Becerra is working to make healthcare and the price of medications, such as those for diabetes, more accessible. He adds that «Isabel Guzman is providing loans for Latinos who want to open small businesses at a level never seen before in this country.» 

This way, a series of measures are being implemented from different fronts to help Latinos and other disadvantaged populations progress. 

Secretary Cardona met with some of the region’s Latino leadership, including Norman Bristol, Daniel Betancourt, Vanessa Philbert, Milzy Carrasco, Pedro A. Rivera, Débora Borges-Carrera, Ed. D., Dr. Evelyn Núñez, José R. López and Erika Rivera. (Photo provided)


Cardona and President Biden are urging the governors of 29 states to raise teacher salaries because they see it as «an investment in our country.» Speaking to LancasterOnline, Cardona did not mention whether similar conversations were taking place with Governor Josh Shapiro. 

In his conversation with Impacto about his challenges in Washington and the representation of his colleagues, his face lit up with a smile when he expressed his appreciation for his predecessors and teachers. 

“When I think I’m having a tough day, I think about the sacrifices my grandparents made, who had to sacrifice and struggle much more than me… I can’t complain,” Cardona points out. 

He believes there is still much to be done: “I think the difficulty of not having enough teachers is because they are not respected in this country. We need to lift our teachers and pay them a decent salary so they can have a family and buy a home.” 

Today, teachers earn up to 25% less than other professionals with the same level of education. 

“We need to improve the system because we need teachers to support our children. I know the importance of being a teacher. It is an honor for me to be in a position where I can fight for the profession… I know how to get things done, and I can work with anyone, but unfortunately, sometimes in Washington, DC, things don’t move as fast as I would like, but we keep fighting.” 

His message is that: “Latinos should know that we are opening doors to college… encouraging high school students to fill out the FAFSA… I want them to keep going, to continue their studies, to keep improving themselves, and to know that they have someone in Washington DC, who will fight for them.” 


Por favor ingrese su comentario!
Por favor ingrese su nombre aquí