Following is a statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on the National Center for Education Statistics’ “Condition of Education” 2022 report. The report summarizes the latest data on education and includes changes in enrollment from fall of 2019 through fall of 2020, the first year of schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When I took office, only 46 percent of schools were open for in-person learning. Now, more than 99 percent of schools and colleges are open, and our institutions are beginning to heal. We know COVID-19 disrupted our schools and colleges, and this report serves as an important reminder of the work left to be done on the road to recovery. The Department’s urgency has shifted from getting institutions open to, now, keeping them open; providing the necessary academic, financial and mental health supports for students and families; and strengthening our K-12 and post-secondary education systems. Together—with educators, parents, and staff—we can help schools and colleges recover and thrive.
“Considering last week’s tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, this data also shines a light on a dark truth—the growing prevalence of gun violence in our schools. As I recently said to members of Congress, I am ashamed that we as a country are becoming desensitized to these horrific tragedies. As parents, leaders, and educators, protecting our children is more important than anything else. The time for thoughts and prayers alone is over. We need legislative action. We can do better, and we must do better.”