U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will travel to Arizona on Tuesday, April 7, for two events: the first focused on educational technology and the second on access to high-quality early learning programs. At 9 a.m. MST, he will deliver remarks and participate in a panel discussion on educational technology and the importance of equity through innovation at the Arizona State University + Global Silicon Valley Education Innovation Summit.
Following the summit, at 10:40 a.m. MST, Duncan will join Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey for a visit to Roosevelt School District’s Martin Luther King Jr. Early Childhood Center to meet with state and local officials and education stakeholders and discuss the unmet need for high-quality preschool across the country.
Martin Luther King Jr. Early Childhood Center provides early education experiences focusing on all areas of development including social, emotional, cognitive and physical for three- and four-year-old children who reside in the Roosevelt School District. Seventeen classes on the campus house Head Start and preschool programs for children with disabilities serving 413 students. Families with children from birth through age 5 are also served through a family resource center that is funded by the First Things First Program.
Arizona is the recipient of a $20 million annual Preschool Development Grant from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. This grant will allow the state to expand access and improve the quality of preschool programs in 15 communities by adding 133 new classrooms serving 3,478 additional children by 2018.
At both events, Duncan will discuss how he has called on Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to include support for schools and districts in creating innovative new solutions to problems and real investments in expanding high-quality early learning, among other improvements to the law.