WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement upon voting to confirm Dr. John R. King as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.
“Monday’s successful confirmation vote for Dr. John King will put in place an advocate who will work to advance the best possible education strategies for our nation. Education is the great equalizer and Dr. King will work to expand the educational opportunities for America’s students.
“It is incredibly important that all Maryland public schools are able to provide the same high-quality education to their students, regardless of a child’s zip code. Last December, in an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority, Congress enacted the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This law will allow states to develop their own accountability systems that more accurately represent student progress in the classroom, while ensuring that students are held to the high-yet-achievable standard of being college- and career-ready upon completion of high school. As the Department of Education works to implement ESSA in the coming months ahead, I appreciate Secretary King’s willingness to advocate for children.
“Maryland families who know and understand the value and necessity of a higher education should not be forced to undertake significant debt in order to place their foothold in the middle class. I am encouraged by the Department of Education’s willingness to reduce administrative burdens that will ease the process for students submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to obtain the resources to pay for higher education. I urge Secretary King to work with Congress to ensure students are able to work toward their educational and professional goals without taking on generational debt.
“I look forward to working with Secretary King to strengthen Maryland’s public school system and ensure all Marylanders have access to the resources necessary to obtain an affordable, quality higher education.”