Secretary Miguel Cardona Announces the Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour

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On Monday, Sept. 12, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will launch the Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour alongside First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff. The week-long, multi-state road trip will showcase the many ways school communities are helping students recover and thrive – putting them on the road to success.

First Lady Biden and Secretary Cardona will kick-off the tour in Tennessee with a visit highlighting ways states and districts are recruiting and preparing qualified educators into the classroom. The First Lady will join Secretary Cardona for the first two stops within the tour.

Later in the week, Second Gentleman Emhoff will join Secretary Cardona in Pennsylvania with visits that highlight how community schools are helping students recover academically and get the mental health supports they need, celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, and raise awareness about the Administration’s actions to provide debt relief to millions, including teachers and administrators through Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Throughout the week, Secretary Cardona, Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten, Undersecretary James Kvaal, and local school leaders will join students, parents, and educators for additional events that celebrate the back-to-school season and underscore the Administration’s commitment to helping students recover from the impacts of the pandemic and continue on the road to success. As part of the Road to Success Bus Tour, Administration leaders will highlight academic and mental health programs and efforts to recruit and support educators funded by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP), which provided historic resources to K-12 schools, colleges, and universities to reopen schools and help students of all ages recover.

The Road to Success Bus Tour will feature stops in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

“It’s a great feeling to see yellow school buses drive around our communities with excited children who are ready to thrive in this new school year. I am thrilled to be traveling across the eastern states and highlighting innovative ways local, state, and federal efforts are helping students recover and succeed in and out of the classroom,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “This year will be one of the most important ever, as we not only work to catch students up, but put them in a position to do even better than where they were before March 2020.”

Preliminary details about bus tour activities are listed below. Additional information and exact timing for each site will be released the day prior to the tour stop. Many of the events will include a press availability with Secretary Cardona and local leaders.

To RSVP for stops on the tour, please email pressRSVP@ed.gov. Follow the bus tour on social media at #RoadToSuccess.

DAY 1:
EVENT 1: Teacher Pipeline
WHEN: Monday morning, Sept. 12
WHERE: Knoxville, Tennessee
NOTE: With special guest First Lady Jill Biden

EVENT 2: Teacher Pipeline
WHEN: Monday afternoon, Sept. 12
WHERE: Greensboro, North Carolina
NOTE: With special guest First Lady Jill Biden

EVENT 3: High School to Career Pathways
WHEN: Monday afternoon, Sept. 12
WHERE: Greensboro, North Carolina

DAY 2:

EVENT 1: Special Olympics and Inclusion for Students with Disabilities
WHEN: Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 13
WHERE: Richmond, Virginia

EVENT 2: Academic Recovery and Parent Engagement for English Language Learners and Special Education Students
WHEN: Tuesday afternoon, Sept 13
WHERE: Harrisonburg, VA

DAY 3:
EVENT 1: Higher Ed Mental Health
WHEN: Wednesday morning, Sept. 14
WHERE: Morgantown, West Virginia

EVENT 2: Early Childhood Education
WHEN: Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 14
WHERE: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
NOTE: With special guest Daniel Tiger.

DAY 4:
EVENT 1: Meeting Students’ Basic Needs in Higher Education
WHEN: Thursday morning, Sept. 15
WHERE: Reading, Pennsylvania

EVENT 2: Community Schools Providing Wraparound Support to Students
WHEN: Thursday afternoon, Sept. 15
WHERE: Allentown, Pennsylvania
NOTE: With special guest Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff

EVENT 3: President Biden’s Debt Forgiveness Plan and Public Service Loan Forgiveness
WHEN: Thursday evening, Sept. 15
WHERE: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NOTE: With special guest Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff

DAY 5:
EVENT 1: National Partnership for Student Success
WHEN: Friday morning, Sept. 16
WHERE: Camden, New Jersey

Biden-Harris Administration Actions to Prepare for a Safe and Successful School Year

Since Day One, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken bold action to get schools back open safely amidst a once-in-a-generation pandemic and provide states, school districts, and college and universities the resources they need to help students recover academically and thrive.

When President Biden took office, less than half of K-12 schools were open for in-person learning. Within three months, President Biden had signed the historic American Rescue Plan (ARP), providing $170 billion in funds for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities to reopen safely, stay open, and put students on the pathway to recovery and success. Over the last year and a half, schools have invested billions of ARP dollars to help students catch up academically, expand access to mental health supports, and hire more high-quality educators, and today, nearly all schools are safely open for in-person learning. An independent analysis shows that, nationally, by 2024, K-12 schools will have spent more than $27 billion in vital funds on academic recovery and an additional nearly $30 billion on staffing, including recruiting, hiring and retaining critical staff like teachers, academic interventionists and counselors.

To support schools, students, educators, and families prepare for the 2022-2023 school year, the Department of Education updated its back-to-school resource site, and released a back-to-school checklist to help parents, caregivers, and families engage with their school district about how ARP funds are helping their students recover and thrive.

The Biden-Harris Administration also recently launched efforts to expand access to effective academic and mental health supports in K-12 schools this year, including:

  • Launching the National Partnership for Student Success to recruit 250,000 new tutors and mentors to help catch up academically and thrive.
  • Launching the Engage Every Student Initiative to help communities use ARP funds, alongside other state and local funds, to ensure that every child who wants a spot in a high-quality out-of-school time program has one, whether through a high-quality summer or afterschool program.
  • Announcing the first of nearly $2 billion the President secured through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and the FY22 Omnibus to help schools hire more school-based mental health professionals. This fall, the Department will begin the process of disbursing almost $300 million Congress appropriated in FY22 for these efforts.

To support college students, working families, and borrowers as they recover from the pandemic, President Biden recently announced his Administration’s plan to provide student loan relief to millions of borrowers and make the student loan system more manageable for working families. The Administration’s actions that will be highlighted on the bus tour include:

  • How American Rescue Plan funds have allowed college students to remain enrolled amidst the economic challenges brought on by the pandemic.
  • How the Biden Administration’s temporary changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness is allowing teachers, faculty, and staff get their student loan debts forgiven after 10 years of service. Public servants should apply by Oct. 31, 2022, to take advantage of the temporary changes. For more information, visit PSLF.gov.
  • Raising awareness about President Biden’s announcement of his Administration’s plan to provide debt relief to millions of working and middle-class borrowers. Borrowers who received Pell Grants are eligible for up to $20,000 in relief and borrowers who did not receive Pell Grants are eligible for up to $10,000 in relief. Borrowers can find out more about whether they are eligible for relief at StudentAid.gov/DebtRelief.
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