Duncan Talks College Affordability in South Carolina

Secretary Duncan and Congressman Clyburn

Secretary Duncan and Congressman Clyburn are greeted by a student at James Simons Elementary School in North Charleston

“If college is unaffordable, then it will become unattainable,” Secretary Arne Duncan tweeted while in South Carolina last Friday during a one-day, three-city visit that focused on innovative education reform and keeping college affordable for America’s families.

Duncan began the day in North Charleston, and joined Congressman James Clyburn (D-S.C.), students, teachers, business leaders and policymakers for a roundtable discussion on school reform, bullying and community engagement. “Education is an investment, not an expense,” Arne said at James Simon Elementary. “We have to education our way to a better economy.”

The Secretary and the Congressman also stopped at Scott’s Branch High School in Summerton where they joined former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley to speak with students and teachers about the school’s “Creating a Corridor of Innovation” program.

With the help of an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from ED, Scott’s Branch is implementing a New Tech High School model that is infused with the latest technology for education, and implements a project-based learning approach that can help increase college and career readiness in high-poverty rural areas.

Duncan and Clyburn ended the day by hosting a college affordability town hall with students at Allen University in Columbia, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

Click here for more information on the Obama Administration’s plan to keep college affordable.


  1. The Investing in Innovation (i3) grant program is an excellent way to encourage and help rural district schools educate in new ways. In the case of Scott’s Branch High School, implementing new innovative technology will keep their students knowledgeable and current. Giving them the performance needed to be applicable for college scholarships that can be predominantly grade based.

    Utilizing these new innovations could be the teaching method some of these students need to improve their grades. Individually we learn by different teaching methods, and children of the current generation grew up using technology daily. It only makes sense to continue using technology to educate our children. The lack of funding for technology is nonexistent in rural schools, so this grant program will open up the doors for students to gain a new world view.

  2. Having attended the event at Scott’s Branch High School, I’m excited about the prospect of the New Tech Network helping that historic high school prepare kids that are ready for college and the careers of tomorrow. The skills they will learn here are directly translatable to the 21st century work force, and will send them to college prepared to work in teams and attack problems in a strategic way. Bravo!

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