NGA’s Community Renewal Co-Chairs and U.S. Education Secretary Discuss Reopening America’s Schools

Missouri Governor Mike Parson and Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan, co-chairs of the National Governors Association (NGA) Community Renewal Task Force, issued the following statement after meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona earlier today:

“Few issues are more bipartisan than safely reopening America’s schools and addressing the learning loss and digital divide exacerbated by COVID-19. Today, on behalf of the nation’s Governors, we discussed how states, territories and the federal government can strengthen coordination to ensure school reopening moves forward as quickly as possible with educators’ and students’ safety prioritized.

“Secretary Cardona and Governors agree that a state-federal partnership is critical to ensure support for school reopening, effective federal guidance and implementation of the American Rescue Plan to equitably address the educational disparities caused by COVID-19. Today’s meeting is the beginning of many meetings between Governors and the U.S. Secretary of Education.

“Governors and the NGA look forward to working with the Secretary to focus on the needs of students, educators, and families as a critical first step to renew communities across the country.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona released the following statement after meeting with Govs. Parson and Bryan earlier today:

“Today’s meeting with Govs. Parson and Bryan is an example of the strong partnership the U.S. Department of Education under the Biden Administration will have with states and Governors as we continue safely reopening America’s schools. I was encouraged to hear from them what Governors across the country are doing to help schools in their states not only reopen but meet the social, emotional, mental health and academic needs of all their students, particularly those in underserved communities and disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. I look forward to continuing to work with NGA and Governors on our many areas of mutual interest in education.”