Press Releases

Congressman Beyer Joins U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Secretary Duncan Hosts Early Learning Roundtable at Patrick Henry Elementary School in Alexandria

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Washington, February 25, 2015 | Tia Shuyler (202-225-4376) | comments
U.S. Representative Don Beyer
joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at Patrick Henry Middle School this morning for a roundtable discussion on the importance of early childhood education with local teachers, administrators, parents, community leaders and organizations.

“I was honored to join Secretary Duncan at this morning’s roundtable. We are so lucky to live in one of the wealthiest and best educated districts in the country. Yet we still have students who come to school hungry, cold, or unprepared. In Alexandria City alone, there are approximately 100 children who qualify for Head Start but are still on a waiting list for preschool. Hundreds more living just above the poverty line are also in need of high quality preschool education. As Secretary Duncan so rightly pointed out, education does not start in Kindergarten; a child’s first few years are critical for future development. The best money that we can spend is on early education,” said Rep. Beyer.

Patrick Henry Elementary School provides preschool through fifth grade classes in the West End of Alexandria, Virginia. Nearly 80 percent of Patrick Henry’s students qualify for free or reduced lunch and almost half are English language learners. For the past two years, the kindergartners at Patrick Henry had the highest PALS test scores in the Alexandria City Public School System, which Principal Ingrid Bynum, her staff, and parents attribute to the expansion of preschool programs from six to nine classrooms.

Secretary Duncan was joined by Libby Doggett, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning, Dr. Tammy Mann, President and CEO of the Campagna Center, Ingrid Bynum, the Principal of Patrick Henry Elementary School, Dr. Terri Mozingo, Chief Academic Officer, Alexandria City Public Schools; Early childhood Advisory Group Member, Lori Shabazz, Kindergarten Teacher and Winner of the Agnes Meyer Award, Patrick Henry Elementary School, Kate Garvey, Director, Department of Community and Human Services, Ellen Foltz, Executive Director, Bruhn-Morris Family Foundation, and Eby Aka, the father of Patrick Henry Pre-K and 1st Grade Students.
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