Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 18, 2013

Secretary of Education coming to Louisville

Sec. Duncan to discuss early childhood development

FRANKFORT —

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit a Louisville early childhood development center Thursday morning.

Duncan will be at St. Benedict Center of Early Childhood Development on 25th Street in the California neighborhood of Louisville Thursday morning and then participate in a discussion about early childhood development issues.

President Barack Obama proposed in his State of the Union address earlier this year a $75 million expansion of early childcare development programs over the next 10 years. Kentucky’s Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has also made early childhood development and education a priority.

In an April interview with Education Week, Duncan said the time has come for a sweeping expansion of early childhood programs and said he hopes to get as many states on board with the proposal as possible.

Details of the visit hadn’t been publicly released as of Tuesday afternoon, but CNHI News confirmed the visit with several sources.

Stu Silberman, Executive Director of the Prichard Committee on Academic Excellence, said Duncan will be in Louisville to visit “one of the local child care centers, but I don’t think they have released the details yet.”

Kentucky Education Commissioner Dr. Terry Holliday and Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Franklin, the chairman of the House Education Committee, also confirmed the visit.

The website for the U.S. Department of Education also lists the visit on Duncan’s weekly schedule. Thursday’s stop in Louisville will be one of three that day to promote “the President’s plan to expand early learning opportunities to more children.”

He will later travel that day to Middletown and Cincinnati Ohio.

Alissa Mwemelupembe, Director of St. Benedict, said she hasn’t seen a complete agenda. But she said Duncan will visit classrooms at the center around 10 a.m. and meet with children before joining a roundtable discussion next door at the Brandeis Apartments on early childhood development issues.

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