As I mentioned in my first post, I recently visited schools and celebrated back to school time out west.
I had the pleasure of visiting a school in Tacoma, Washington – Lincoln High School – on its first day of school. Specifically, I toured the high school’s Lincoln Learning Center program – a small program in its 3rd year that offers its students extended learning time and a strong dose of college-prep support. Any Lincoln High student who wants to be a part of Lincoln Learning Center is accepted into the program, and both Lincoln High and Lincoln Learning Center serve populations that are high minority and high poverty.
One of the things I plan to do on this site is to regularly answer some of the most frequently asked questions that come through to our office, either by mail or email. There’s so much information out there, and I think it’s helpful for OESE to be able to provide some answers to questions that still may not be so clear.
So, here’s the first question I’m going to tackle. We’ve heard recently from a lot of folks who are wondering about the state of funding for education in the U.S. They have asked us specifically, “What is the Department doing to fund schools across the country?”
Today, I’m headed just a few blocks over to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to take part in their Hispanic Heritage Month Observance ceremony. The theme of this year’s observance is “Heritage, Diversity, Integrity and Honor: The Renewed Hope of America.” It’s an honor for me to take part in such a celebration, to mark the many contributions that Hispanic and Latinos have made to this country.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month is important to me, both for personal and professional reasons. My parents, who were born in Mexico, have instilled in me a deep respect for my heritage. My family always placed a huge emphasis on education, and their sacrifices on my behalf have made it possible for me to be where I am today.
|Speaking with parents at Latino Family Night, hosted by Bethel Unified School District in Eugene, OR|
It’s been a busy few weeks across the country, as schools, teachers, and students all head back to school. This has always been one of my favorite times in the year – especially when I was a teacher back in California – as there’s a sense of newness, and a sense of starting something fresh, that’s so exciting when it comes to heading back to school.
This fall, I celebrated back-to-school with events from coast to coast, first visiting a number of states in the Delta with Secretary Duncan’s Bus Tour and then heading west to meet with teachers, administrators, and students in Oregon, Washington, and New Mexico. It was certainly refreshing for me to spend this time visit schools and celebrate the excellent teaching and learning that’s to come.
I’m using this idea of starting fresh to kick off this site for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE) at the U.S. Department of Education.