U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will travel Wednesday to Mason, Ohio, and Thursday to Louisville, Ky., where he will hold discussions with parents and school officials about programs to promote excellence in education, expand job growth and invest in the economy. Media availabilities are scheduled during both stops.
Secretary Duncan will highlight how the American Jobs Act will benefit public schools in Ohio and Kentucky and provide critical resources during tough budget times. Under the Act, Ohio would receive $985 million and Kentucky $390 million for modernization efforts to rebuild crumbling buildings and classes. The funding would support 12,800 jobs in Ohio and 5,100 in Kentucky. Ohio would also receive $1 billion — enough to prevent an estimated 14,200 teacher layoffs for one school year. Kentucky would get $406 million — enough to prevent an estimated 6,100 teacher layoffs for one school year.
In Mason, Ohio, Duncan will participate in a Parent Town Hall co-hosted by Parenting magazine's Mom Congress, an initiative to celebrate and connect parents who have made a difference in the fight for better schools. Participants will include 200 parents from the Mason City and Cincinnati public schools. Topics will range from local issues affecting Cincinnati-area classrooms to national education reform and jobs.
In Louisville, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., will join Duncan in conducting a roundtable discussion at The Academy @ Shawnee with state and local education officials. They will discuss the potential benefits of the American Jobs Act and the Education Department's Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund, School Improvement Grants, and TRIO programs. Also attending will be U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Jason Snyder, who will join Duncan to hear about the turnaround efforts of Kentucky using School Improvement Grants.
In the afternoon, Secretary Duncan will also address the Association for Middle Level Education’s annual conference, speaking about the importance of education reform in the middle grades. Duncan will conclude the day at the Kentucky Improving Productivity in Schools and Districts Conference, sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Education. There, he will discuss the U.S. Education Department’s education reform agenda. Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday will also attend. The conference is a professional growth opportunity for school district administrators and other education partners interested in improving the management and operation of their schools and districts.