Secretary King, Senators Murphy and Blumenthal, Gov. Malloy to Host Roundtable Discussion on Diversity and Equity

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U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. will join U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, Connecticut Commissioner of Education Dianna Wentzell, and other leaders and officials for a roundtable discussion at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy on the importance of diversity and equity in education. The roundtable, taking place on Wednesday, Aug. 17 in Hartford, Connecticut, will focus on strategies and best practices to ensure an excellent education for all students.

A majority of students in the nation’s public schools today are students of color, while just 18 percent of the teaching force identify as people of color. Gov. Malloy recently signed into law legislation that seeks to improve educator diversity, strengthen teacher certification, and provide effective teacher training. Sen. Murphy, along with original co-sponsor Sen. Blumenthal, also introduced legislation to build on the Administration’s Stronger Together budget proposal– a voluntary program to support the development and expansion of new and existing, community-driven strategies to increase socioeconomic diversity in America’s schools.

Research shows that diversity in schools and communities can be a powerful lever for promoting positive outcomes in school and in life. Working together across local education, transportation, and housing and community development agencies, communities can help create and sustain access to high-quality educational opportunities; decent, safe and affordable housing; and well-connected public transportation networks and safer streets.

The U.S. Department of Education, along with the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Transportation, issued a joint letter to state and local leaders calling on them to work together to create real economic mobility and provide access to opportunities for every child in every community by identifying and addressing barriers in their communities that hinder socioeconomic growth and racial diversity. The Department's Investing in Innovation, Magnet School Assistance Program and Charter School Program competitions include a focus on fostering diversity in schools. The Department also published a new supplemental priority for discretionary grant programs that support socioeconomic diversity strategies.