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Miguel Cardona, President Biden’s nominee to become education secretary, said increasing access to community colleges would be a high priority if he is confirmed by the Senate. Cardona, in a 30-minute interview with Connecticut Public Radio, also expressed support for canceling student loans, at least in a targeted manner.

Asked if he supports Biden’s proposal to make tuition at community colleges free, Cardona said in the interview aired on Monday that he did.

“We know that education is really the best economic driver not only in our state but across the country. And making college accessible to more students earlier is part of the goal,” he said.

“Our community colleges are gems that are not looked at as the gems that they are. We really have to make it more accessible, not only for our pre-K-12 system connection but also there are a lot of adults in our communities who would welcome an opportunity to engage in higher learning through community colleges. Or they think about career advancement and all they need is that first step into the community college.”

Cardona also said he supports Biden’s proposal to cancel $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers.

“While I have a pre-K-12 background, and that’s an area of passion for me, I recognize as a first-generation college student myself, the importance of higher education, and the importance of making it accessible,” he said.