U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and senior Department officials will visit states throughout the Southwest for "Strong Start, Bright Future," the Department's annual back-to-school bus tour from Monday, Sept. 9, to Friday, Sept. 13. The tour will kick off in New Mexico before heading to Texas, Arizona, and California.
At stops throughout the tour, Secretary Duncan will highlight the importance of ensuring that all students benefit from high-quality educational opportunities. Specifically, the Secretary will discuss Preschool for All, college affordability, ConnectED, first-term education efforts, and comprehensive immigration reform's impact on education.
"The strength of America's economy is inextricably linked to the strength of America's education system," said Secretary Duncan. "The bus tour along the Southwest will be an opportunity to discuss how investments in education are critical to our country's future. 'Strong Start, Bright Future' speaks to the importance of ensuring that we place a priority on providing our students with a world-class education."
The tour will begin on Monday, Sept. 9, in Santa Fe, N.M., followed by stops in Albuquerque and Socorro. On Tuesday, Sept. 10, Secretary Duncan will hold events in El Paso, Texas and Columbus, N.M. Then, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, the Secretary will hold events in Tucson and Tempe, Ariz. On Thursday, Sept. 12, Secretary Duncan will travel to Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Yuma, Ariz., for events. On Friday, Sept. 13, Secretary Duncan will conclude the tour in Chula Vista, Calif., located outside of San Diego.
"I look forward to highlighting the great work folks are doing to advance the quality of education in America," Secretary Duncan said. "Throughout the tour, I'll meet with teachers, parents, students, and education leaders who are striving to improve student outcomes and invest in our nation’s future."
Senior Department officials will hold additional events highlighting the Administration's work to leverage education reform and innovation across the country. At the various events, they will discuss an array of issues including Preschool for All, ConnectED, RESPECT, Career and Technical Education (CTE), and college affordability.
This is the fourth annual back-to-school bus tour for Secretary Duncan. Last year, the Secretary visited cities across the country. In 2011, the tour covered portions of the Midwest. And in 2010, the back-to-school bus tour included the Delta region in the South and the Northeast.
Additional information about Secretary Duncan's schedule and senior Department officials' events will be released as details are made available.