U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will participate in a panel discussion at the Education Commission of the States’ first national Summit on the Role of Education in Economic Development in Rural America, Wednesday, May 4 in Washington, D.C. Duncan will challenge states, school leaders, school boards and legislators to work together to improve schools, as a critical tool for economic success and revitalization in rural America.
The summit, hosted by the Education Commission of the States in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture, will bring together national and state leaders and policymakers in education and economic development to share their ideas and address the education and economic development challenges faced by rural America. Participants will present and discuss successful models for education and economic development partnerships. Last year, Secretaries Duncan and Vilsack were two of ten federal agency leaders to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to be part of the Appalachian Regional Development Initiative, a model that will be presented by the ARC’s Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl.
Also during the summit, John White, deputy assistant secretary for rural outreach, will participate in a panel discussion at noon on how the Departments of Education and Agriculture are collaborating to increase awareness of and access to federal resources available to support high-need rural schools and communities. Karen Cator, director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education will join White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra for a presentation on broadband technology and resources at 1 p.m. The full agenda is available on the ECS Web site, http://www.ecs.org/ecsmain.asp?page=/html/meetings.asp?am=3