September 2019 Issue

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September 2019 Issue

“Right now, too many Hispanic students are denied the education that’s right for them simply because they don’t have the resources to move to a ’better‘ district. Too many Hispanic students are told they can’t study a subject that excites them because their government-assigned school building doesn’t have the faculty or facilities. All students need the freedom to learn in ways and in places that work for them. When Hispanic families can exercise education freedom, they like it and want more of it! I will continue to work to expand education freedom for them and for all students."

— U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, marking National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Secretary's Back to School Tour

DeVos and students

From Sept.16 to 20, Secretary DeVos and four other senior U.S. Department of Education (Department) officials traveled to 18 states for the Department’s annual back to school tour. This is the third year this administration has embarked on a tour to highlight learning environments where educators and elected leaders are rethinking education. This year’s tour focused on how the secretary’s Education Freedom Scholarships proposal will help supplement state and local initiatives to expand education options for all students.

The secretary’s first stop was St. Marcus Lutheran School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This school serves 900 students, nearly all of whom benefit from the 30-year-old Milwaukee Parental Choice Program that provides school tuition scholarships to qualified low-income students who reside within the boundaries of the city’s school district. The secretary toured the school, hosted a roundtable discussion with students, parents, educators, and policymakers on the importance of education freedom, and delivered keynote remarks (press release, photos, and video). 

During the tour, the secretary visited schools and colleges in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. You can read more about the tour on social media under hashtag #EducationFreedomTour.

Innovative Pathways to Hispanic Educational Success Briefing

Briefing HHM

On Sept. 6, the WHIEEH convened Hispanic education leaders from across the country for a briefing at the White House. Senior officials, including Secretary DeVos and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza, addressed participants and shared the latest initiatives on education freedom, English learners, financial literacy, STEM, and work-based learning. Participants also had an opportunity to share effective practices.

Multiple Pathways to Success in Hispanic Education

DeVos Hispanic HHM

On Sept. 24, the Department and WHIEEH hosted a panel discussion on multiple pathways to success for Hispanic students. Secretary DeVos spoke on the importance of education freedom. Following her remarks, school leaders shared their innovative efforts that have led to success for Hispanic students.

 The following schools participated in the panel:

  • Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School & Corporate Work Study Program, Takoma Park, Maryland
  • East Early College High School, Houston
  • Proviso Math and Science Academy, Forest Park, Illinois
  • Archimedean Upper Conservatory, Miami
Hispanic HHM3

WHIEEH Commemorates National Hispanic-Serving Institution Week

HHM Event

On Sept. 18, WHIEEH marked National Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) Week (Sept. 16–22) with a showcase of HSIs at Department headquarters. National HSIs Week recognizes the important work of colleges and universities with a high Hispanic population. At the event, two HSIs, California State University Channel Islands and Florida International University, shared how they are supporting Hispanic students and preparing them for success in the workforce. 

Civil Rights Data Quality

Secretary DeVos announced that the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) will work collaboratively to improve the information collected in the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). This partnership will help ensure that CRDC data is valid, reliable, and authenticated in a manner that provides a more accurate picture of key civil rights issues in education.

Under the agreement, OCR and NCES will work together to support school districts by providing technical assistance resources, training, and prompt feedback on identified issues. OCR and NCES will also work together in reviewing and revising data quality procedures when needed to reflect lessons learned during the collection and evaluation of CRDC data.

Borrowers Defense Regulations

The Department finalized regulations to protect student borrowers, hold higher education institutions accountable, and provide financial safeguards for taxpayers. These Institutional Accountability rules are the result of more than two years of deliberations, public hearings, negotiated rulemaking with a variety of stakeholders, and careful consideration of tens of thousands of public comments. The regulations will take effect July 1, 2020, although the rules relating to financial responsibility are available for immediate implementation.

Student Loan Relief for Veterans With Total and Permanent Disabilities

On Aug. 21, President Trump signed a presidential memorandum that will significantly streamline the process to erase federal student loan debt for totally and permanently disabled veterans. Through a process called Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, veterans will now have their student loan debt discharged unless they decide to opt out of the process. The Department anticipates notifying more than 25,000 eligible veterans about their debt forgiveness and continuing the discharge process on a quarterly basis.

Increasing Postsecondary Opportunities and Success for Students and Youth With Disabilities

Issued jointly by the Department’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and the Office of Postsecondary Education, “Increasing Postsecondary Opportunities and Success for Students and Youth With Disabilities Question & Answers” describes how state educational agencies, local educational agencies, and state vocational rehabilitation agencies may coordinate to assist students and youth with disabilities, including students and youth with intellectual disabilities, in preparing for postsecondary success. Funds can be used to support dual enrollment, comprehensive transition, and other postsecondary education programs for students and youth with disabilities. The document reinforces the appropriate use of funds under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

View OSERS’ Rethink Framework.

Presidential Proclamation on National Hispanic Heritage Month

On Sept. 13, President Trump recognized National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept.15 to Oct. 15) in a presidential proclamation.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH) has a webpage featuring statistics, stories and resources commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month from other federal government agencies.

Student Voices

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics is sharing students' experiences in their first year of college. Each week, a new story will be posted.

Federal Government Educational Resources

WHIEEH has compiled educational resources from various government agencies. One of these resources is Statistics in Schools, a free U.S. Census Bureau program that uses census data to create classroom materials for pre-K–12 schools. New activities for the 2019–20 school year highlight the 2020 Census and the importance of making sure everyone is counted.

Note: The Department does not control, direct, or encourage any information in a curriculum, and the use of materials is strictly a state and local matter. 

Fireside Chat With Marymount University President

Fireside Chat

On September 25, WHIEEH Senior Advisor Emmanuel Caudillo participated in a fireside chat with Marymount University president, Dr. Irma Becerra at U.S. Department of Commerce's Hispanic Heritage Month event. Dr. Becerra shared her career journey and the importance of paid internships and mentorships.

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Website Redesign

The Department’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education has a redesigned website, offering new resources, streamlined navigation, trending content, and improved access to funding opportunities and timelines.

"I Can Do It" Program

I Can Do It!” (ICDI), a program from the Administration for Community Living at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with support from the U.S. Department of Education, helps schools provide an inclusive, integrated program of physical activity and nutritional training for students with and without disabilities. This summer, representatives from eight states and the District of Columbia were recognized for launching ICDI and providing the access and opportunity for all students to achieve 60 minutes of daily physical activity in the school environment.

2020 Presidential Management Fellows Program

The Presidential Management Fellows Program is a highly selective, two-year fellowship and leadership development program for recent and soon-to-be graduates with advanced degrees. It is the federal government’s flagship leadership development program and is an excellent way for students with management potential and public-service motivation to enter the federal government and be developed into tomorrow’s leaders.

The 2020 application period runs from noon ET, Oct. 3, to noon ET, Oct. 17, 2019. For more information and instructions on how to apply.

Call for NAGB Nominees

The National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, is seeking qualified candidates for eight specific positions to be appointed in fall 2020. All nominations must be submitted by Oct. 18.

Call for Spring 2020 Interns

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics is seeking applicants for the spring 2020 semester. If you are interested in applying or want to learn more about this opportunity, visit the Internship webpage. The deadline to apply is Oct. 15.