U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. will visit a classroom at Pike View Early Childhood Center where children are benefitting from Preschool Development Grants funding in the North Little Rock School District, on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, as part of this year’s back-to-school bus tour. Following the visit, King will participate in a roundtable discussion on how Arkansas and local communities, with help from the federal government, are making it possible for more children to get off to a strong start and the benefits families, schools and communities are seeing.
Arkansas is one of 18 states awarded funding from Preschool Development Grants. The program—jointly administered by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and funded at $750 million by Congress thus far—has led to 28,000 more children being enrolled in high-quality preschool in 230 high-need communities during the 2015-16 school year. This fall, the second group of 4-year-olds, about 35,000, will get the strong start they need for success in school and in life.
King and senior Education Department officials are hosting the seventh and final back-to-school bus tour to celebrate progress in communities and states across the country. The tour kicked off in the nation’s capital and is traveling all the way to Louisiana, from Monday, Sept. 12 to Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. This year’s “Opportunity Across America” tour includes stops in Washington, D.C.; Charlottesville, Virginia; Bristol, 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].