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Photo: Susan Walsh/AP Photo/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate voted 64-33 on Monday to confirm Miguel Cardona as President Biden's education secretary.

Why it matters: Cardona will play a key role in the Biden administration's efforts to safely reopen schools currently closed to in-person learning due to the coronavirus pandemic. Biden has pledged to reopen schools within his first 100 days, but some are skeptical he will be able to meet this goal.

  • In new guidance released last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said school reopenings should be contingent on community transmission rates and should be a priority over restaurants and other nonessential businesses.

The big picture: Cardona won some bipartisan support, vowing to do "everything in our power" to safely reopen schools and address educational inequities, Politico reports.

  • The former Connecticut commissioner of education also promised to expand coronavirus surveillance testing in schools and called for boosting federal relief.
  • The House passed its version of Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus relief package last week, which includes $128.6 billion in funding to help K-12 schools reopen. The Senate could take up its version of the measure as early as this week.
  • During his confirmation hearing, Cardona did not take firm stances on issues beyond the pandemic, such as charter schools and transgender students' rights to participate in athletics.

Background: Cardona, who grew up in public housing and started school speaking only Spanish, served as an elementary school teacher and principal before moving to head the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Go deeper: Biden's promise to reopen schools

Go deeper

Colorado sets timeline for return to normalcy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Colorado officials are starting to offer a picture of what life looks like when the pandemic eases its grip.

Driving the news: More school districts are returning to in-person learning before the end of the school year and the state is considering relaxing its rules for event venues, the Denver Post reports.

Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 7 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.