Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John King will launch his “Opportunity Across America” tour tomorrow at Bowie High School in El Paso, Texas, where he will join U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke to lead a roundtable discussion on the role that local communities and governments can play in implementing the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
King will discuss the Department’s ongoing efforts to roll out the new law in a way that ensures educational opportunity for every student, regardless of their circumstances or backgrounds. He will also talk about issues that face border communities like El Paso. Before the roundtable, King and others will tour the school’s community garden, which has become a tool to help students grow and cultivate their own food. Following the roundtable, King and O’Rourke will hold a media availability and participate in a Facebook chat.
After El Paso, the tour will continue with visits to Houston, Texas; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Wilmington, Delaware. King will use the tour to highlight good work going on in schools and communities across the country and to hear stories, experiences and insights about what’s working and where there is more work to be done.
The events will focus on King’s top priorities for the next year: promoting equity and excellence at every level of education to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed; supporting and lifting up the teaching profession; and continuing the Department’s focus on returning America to the top of the rankings in college completion by ensuring more students earn an affordable degree with real value.
The visit to El Paso is part of the “State of the Union: Cabinet in Your Community” events following Tuesday’s address from President Obama. Cabinet officials are traveling across the country to engage Americans in small towns, big cities and Indian country about the advancements the Administration has made on the most important issues facing the American people, as well as the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. The road tour is an extension of President Obama’s ongoing conversation with the American people about the remarkable progress we have made, and efforts the Administration continues to make to move the country forward.