April 20, 2021
Southern Education Foundation
As Governor, U.S. Secretary of Education, and otherwise, I have stressed my belief that “the stronger the start, the better the finish” with respect to education, beginning with high-quality childcare and early education and development.
I feel equally strongly that there also must be a strong continuum of learning and other supports for school-age children and youth (and their families) through summer enrichment and comprehensive afterschool opportunities. We need to strengthen and improve the school day, of course. But out-of-school times are just as important – and even much more so during our current challenges. Because of the pandemic, many childcare and youth supervision programs have had to shut down, further disadvantaging low- and moderate-income families in keeping or seeking employment. Another challenge is the upskilling of many current and future jobs, which requires more training and community college experiences.
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