U.S. Education Secretary Discusses Importance of Keeping America’s Classrooms Connected During Back-to-School Bus Tour Stop in Bristol, Tennessee

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U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. will visit Vance Middle School in Bristol, Tennessee on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 9:10 a.m. ET, as part of the “Opportunity Across America” back-to-school bus tour celebrating educational progress in communities and states across the country. King will highlight President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to connect America’s students to the digital age through next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in their schools and libraries. He will discuss how access to high-speed wireless networks and interactive devices for students allow schools to personalize both student learning and educator professional development. King will be interviewed by students in the school’s digital arts program about his role as Education Secretary, the Constitution (in honor of Constitution Day on Sept. 17), and the transformative power of technology in learning.

When President Obama launched ConnectED three years ago, only 30 percent of school districts had access to high-speed broadband, leaving 40 million students without access to connectivity. Today, an additional 20 million more students have access to high-speed broadband, and ConnectED is on track to meet the goal of connecting 99 percent of students by 2018.

The bus tour kicked off in the nation’s capital on Monday, Sept. 12, and is traveling all the way to Louisiana on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. In addition to Bristol, there have been stops in Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville, Virginia. Additional stops include Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee; Harvest, Alabama; North Little Rock, Arkansas; Indianola, Mississippi; and Monroe, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana. King and other senior Department officials will hold events touting the Administration’s key initiatives over eight years, highlighting the progress made to expand opportunity across the nation and the groundwork laid for continued momentum.

President Barack Obama entered office in 2009 with a comprehensive vision for improving our education system to advance our children’s opportunity and success. That vision included efforts to address the dropout crisis, improve student achievement, and increase graduation rates; expand equity in education through stronger schools; ensure all students achieve to high standards that prepare them for college and career; and grow innovation and investment in what works, while safeguarding the right of all students to a world-class education. Thanks to the hard work of educators, state and local leaders, communities, parents, families, and students, the nation has made significant educational progress over the last eight years. To build on our prosperity and competitiveness as a nation, the Administration has worked diligently to make a positive difference for students and to continue the work to deliver on the promise of a world-class education to every child.

This event will include a press availability with King and local leaders. To RSVP for stops on the tour, please email [email protected].

Follow the bus tour on social media at #OpportunityTour.