U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Address National Summit on Gender-Based Violence among Young People

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will address the National Summit on Gender-based Violence Among Young People, hosted by U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free School on Wednesday, April 6, at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, Va. Duncan will discuss the Department’s efforts and collaborations with other federal agencies. Other participants include Kevin Jennings, assistant deputy secretary of the Department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli and Health and Human Services Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families David Hansell.

The two-day summit, hosted by the Department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, will take place Wednesday-Thursday, April 6-7. It will bring together organizations, educators and federal, state and local leaders to discuss ways to end gender-based violence among young people. Specifically, they will look at research in the field and discuss new techniques and ways to use meaningful practices, especially the best practices that have shown positive results. Participants will share their expertise, give feedback on existing federal efforts, and provide recommendations on the future direction of federal policy and programming.

In 2010, the Department invested $38.8 million in a new grant program called Safe and Supportive Schools. The goal of the grants is to create and support safe and drug-free learning environments and to increase academic success for students in high-risk schools. Eleven states are piloting the program this year. Funds may be used by state education agencies to develop measurement systems to assess conditions for learning within individual schools, including school safety, and to make this information publicly available. Using this data, the grant recipients are working in collaboration with participating local education agencies to improve the learning environment within schools facing the biggest challenges. Beyond this funding, the Department is supporting states and districts in their work to set clear policies that empower educators to take action.