The following is a cross-post from the Office for Civil Rights.
An essential part of ensuring equal opportunity is protecting all students in their access to education free from discrimination. This includes the right of all students in the United States to attend America’s public elementary and secondary schools, regardless of their immigration or citizenship status.
The teaching of civics and history – an opportunity to better understand our past and how our government works so we can engage in and influence our future – has long provided the foundation for students to be active participants in society and help our nation live up to its highest ideals. These values have been championed over the years by Americans of all backgrounds, and they are deeply embedded in our commitment to both patriotism and progress.
My first “real” job was as a camp counselor at the local Boys and Girls Club in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. I spent the summer ensuring middle school students had fun while learning. I would stay up late thinking of new lessons to teach or a motivating message I would recite during our morning check-ins. I appreciated each high five, smile, and even a few tears as camp concluded as I got ready for my next semester at UNC-Chapel Hill. Occasionally, I would see my “students” when I visited home at the grocery store or church. I was always surprised that they remembered our special handshakes, mostly because I had forgotten them. I loved being a camp counselor. I loved the young people I met and hopefully positively influenced.
As the father of twins who recently graduated from college, I can appreciate what you or your parents go through each year as you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA® form. As you know, completing this form can open the door to your higher education dreams by providing federal student grants, work-study funds, and loans. The FAFSA form can also unlock other opportunities for grants and scholarships from states, schools, and private organizations.
On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes raided the U.S. Naval Base Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The massive surprise attack thrusted America into World War II. Following the attack, government suspicion arose around Americans of Japanese descent. A few months later, on March 29, 1942, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt of the Western Defense Command issued Public Proclamation No. 4, which forced the evacuation and detention of West Coast residents of Japanese American ancestry. Approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans were sent to concentration camps in the United States between 1942 and 1945.
Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is considered America’s most hallowed ground and a sacred shrine to service and sacrifice. More than 400,000 people are laid to rest at ANC including former presidents, astronauts, civil rights activists, medical professionals, and prominent military figures.
ANC recently launched an
education program for students, families, and lifelong learners. The program
aims to honor the sacrifices and extraordinary lives of American service
members and their families, support remembrance of the past and present
military conflicts and circumstances surrounding them, and invite personal
exploration of connections to America’s diverse history. As the school year
draws to a close, this program provides a great summer learning opportunity to
explore and discover U.S. history through the unique lens of ANC.
Need a reason for celebration? In the Recognition Programs Unit of ED’s Office of Communications and Outreach, we have several of them spread throughout the year. The newest recognition award joining the family, structured to shine a spotlight good work and ignite more positive contributions, while engaging state and local stakeholders with their federal education agency, is the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees award.
President Biden issued a proclamation deeming April 2021 as National Financial
Capability Month. This communication emphasizes the benefits of financial
capability, the value of financial literacy, and the importance of access to
financial resources. Understanding personal finance topics such as savings,
loans, and investments is seldom a straightforward task, especially in the
context of paying for college. Subjects, such as borrowing, can be complex for
incoming postsecondary students to fully grasp. With the notable year-over-year
rising cost of pursuing higher education,
some students may be left with a large amount of debt and regrets about how
they chose to finance their college education. According to Teach for America,
a recent survey suggests that 53% of college students said that they felt less
prepared to manage their money than to face any other challenge associated with
college. So, how can postsecondary student’s financial literacy be improved and
regrets about financing their education minimized? One solution to consider is
effective financial literacy education.
By: Sean Addie – Director of Correctional Education Dr. Amy Loyd – Acting Assistant Secretary
This week we
are joining our colleagues at the U.S. Department of Justice, agencies across
the federal government, and our partners across the country to mark National
Reentry Week and lift up the important work being done to support individuals
reentering society from incarceration. The week also bookends Second Chance Month, and here at the Department of
Education, we understand the pivotal role that education plays in helping
people rejoin and contribute to society.
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that pursuing a college education is not just about getting accepted and enrolling in a college. First-generation and low-income college students were burdened with the struggle to pay expensive college fees for a virtual education while being separated from on-campus resources and in-person support from students and faculty. For first-generation and low-income college students, being accepted into a college is a major accomplishment that opens the door to numerous possibilities, such as having higher average salaries and healthier lifestyles. However, there needs to be more support for first-generation and low-income students throughout college, not just to the acceptance letter, for them to enjoy the benefits of obtaining a college degree.
I was 8 years old when I first experienced homelessness. Homelessness then became a struggle that my family and I couldn’t escape. I experienced standing in the snow, hoping my family and I had a place to sleep on a church floor; how packed and unsanitary emergency shelters are, as I got lice within two days of staying there; how “The Florida Project” brought me flashbacks to the many months my family lived in motels, and how I viewed peers with “the basic necessities” with such envy. Constantly moving and being disappointed led me to become extremely detached and avoid relationships of any kind out of fear of abandonment. Eight years later, at 16 years old, I was still experiencing homelessness. Though homelessness was not new to me, this experience as a 16-year-old was the most difficult because I was on my own without a family.
On April 22, the U.S. Department of Education named the 2021 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS), District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees. Across the country, 27 schools, three early learning centers, five districts, and five postsecondary institutions are recognized for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impacts and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective education.
The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 20 states. The 2021 cohort include 24 public schools – among them, five charter schools and one magnet school – as well as three nonpublic schools. More than half of the honorees are in communities where more than 40 percent of the student body are eligible for free and reduced lunch.
Curious as to what it takes to be named a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School? Here are a few of the initiatives that the 2021 honorees are taking.