MADISON, Wis. — U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona is hitting the road to see how schools safely welcomed students back to in-person learning.

The bus tour called the "Return to School Road Trip" kicked off Monday with stops in Eau Claire and Madison.

What You Need To Know

  • U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona launched the 'Return to School Road Trip' in Wisconsin Monday

  • The bus tour focuses on highlighting schools and communities safely returning to in-person learning

  • Secretary Cardona first visited Locust Lane Elementary School in Eau Claire for a back to school pep rally

  • Monday afternoon, Secretary Cardona stopped by UW-Madison for a tour and a visit to their Public Service Fair

Students, parents, and teachers will join the secretary as he spends this week on the road to get a first-hand look at how students are returning to school, whether that's an elementary classroom or a college campus.

During a visit to the UW-Madison campus, Secretary Cardona asked students in the special education teaching program for advice he could take back to Washington, D.C., and consider when crafting policy.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank, Secretary Cardona, and Gov. Tony Evers hold a discussion with UW-Madison students in the special education teaching program.

“You learn by doing, so that year while you are out there you learn a lot about yourself and you learn a lot about teaching, and then to go in and have a contract, I mean the job placement rate I'm sure must be pretty high,” Cardona told a small group of students.

The secretary was joined by Gov. Tony Evers, and later Dept. of Public Instruction Superintendent Jill Underly, for candid conversations around campus.

State Superintendent Jill Underly watches as LatinX students participate in a discussion facilitated by Secretary Cardona.

After a quick chat at Memorial Union, the secretary, who is a first-generation college student, met with LatinX students to hear about their college experience and organization.

“I didn't have anybody at home to talk to about the college experience and I joined the Latino American Student Organization, LASO, and to this day, some of the folks are still real close friends with me,” Cardona told the students. “So for me, it was a sense of connection, immediately, and a sense of allowing me to be unapologetically me.”

LatinX students answer questions from Secretary Cardona and Gov. Evers.

The visit to UW-Madison was capped off with a stop at the Public Service Fair where students of all majors had the opportunity to connect with local, state, and national non-profit agencies.

Secretary Cardona visits Public Service Fair at UW-Madison.

Earlier in the day, the secretary also visited Locust Lane Elementary School in Eau Claire for a Monday morning pep rally.

Secretary Cardona's bus tour will wrap up on Friday after stops in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.