Biden's education secretary Miguel Cardona said that there's an "opportunity" in schools having been closed for a year.
"We have to look at education differently," he said. "This is obviously a major disruption in we've been doing. But honestly... it's an opportunity to reinvent it, to make it better."
"Because we know that prior to the pandemic there were issues in education. There were issues to access. And this is our opportunity as educators to really lift up the profession and make sure we're providing a better service," Cardona said.
"So yes, there's going to be remediation, but there's going to be acceleration, and there's going to be opportunities for students to grow, to new, higher levels, and I look forward to leading that effort."
This message is consistent with the Biden administration's tactic of not letting any good crisis go to waste. While Biden promised that schools would be open five day per week by the end of his first 100 days in office, that has not proven out. Schools that were open are still open, while many school districts that remained closed are still barely providing educational services for students in person.
In March, Cardona said "We're at a critically important time in our nation's history in education," and that his "goal is to safely reopen as many schools as possible as quickly as possible."
At that time, he had "notified all the states as to how much money they would receive," and that the total amount available in the American Rescue Plan for schools is $122 billion. Much of the funding was designated for COVID remediation, for screening and surveillance. No timeline was given at that time for reopening.
It has been alleged that the slow reopening is a result of the administration's complicity with teachers' unions and their efforts to keep schools closed. The White House has denied these charges.
Cardona has said previously that his key concern is in eliminating achievement gaps between racial and ethnic groups.