Latino State of the Union, Education Equity and Excellence Commission, Redistricting, Oppose Anit-Immigration Laws
WASHINGTON, DC - United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has appointed MALDEF President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz, and MALDEF board member, Jesse Ruiz, among twenty-eight members of the Department of Education’s newly created Equity and Excellence Commission.
Composed of education advocates, civil rights leaders, scholars, corporate leaders and lawyers, the commission is tasked with developing ways to close achievement gaps in America’s schools. The body will make recommendations about how federal policies can reduce disparities in educational opportunities and examine ways to restructure school finance systems such that educational resources are distributed equally.
Saenz said, "Equal educational opportunity is essential to our nation's future economic prosperity and continued world leadership. The Equity and Excellence Commission presents a wonderful opportunity to take a significant step toward improving equal educational opportunity across the country. I am excited to be a part of this effort, and honored to join this impressive and renowned group of commissioners, including Jesse Ruiz."
"I am honored to have been appointed to serve on the Commission, and look forward to working with Tom Saenz and all my fellow Commissioners to find more equitable ways to fund our nation's schools. It is a testament to the work of MALDEF, and an acknowledgment of the growing Latino student population across our nation, that MALDEF's president and general counsel and a board member were appointed to the Commission," said Ruiz.
The Equity and Excellence Commission was formed in response to a congressional request and met for the first time in public session on February 22, 2011 to discuss "the scope of its work, outreach efforts, and the timetable for completion of its report," according to the Department of Education.