Congressman Phil Hare, a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, today released the following statement regarding President-elect Barack Obama's selection of Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan as the next Secretary of Education.
"President-elect Obama's selection of Arne Duncan as the next Secretary of Education is good for students, teachers, and parents. As head of the nation's 3rd largest school district, Duncan has improved student achievement scores, boosted graduation rates, and helped more kids go to college, all while working cooperatively with the city's teachers' unions.
"There is no doubt that Mr. Duncan will face significant challenges in the months and years ahead. No Child Left Behind must be fully funded and reformed so it works for all students. We must reign in skyrocketing college costs and make financial aid more readily available. And we must make early childhood education a national priority once again.
"In addition to making necessary improvements to the education systems in America's inner-cities, I will be personally encouraging Mr. Duncan to address the needs of our rural schools, a major focus of my first term.
"I again commend President-elect Obama for choosing a qualified, experienced leader who has proven his commitment to improving our public education system and closing the achievement gap. I look forward to working with him in the 111th Congress."