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News & Press: Administration News

Opportunity ­ Education ­ Access

Monday, February 10, 2014  
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Making Progress on ConnectED

On Tuesday, President Obama visited Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Maryland, to promote his ConnectED Initiative, which aims to enrich K-12 education in America.

"ConnectED empowers teachers with the best technology and the training to make the most of it, and empowers students through individualized learning and rich, digital content.”

In a technologically-drive era, fewer than 30% of America’s schools have the capacity needed to incorporate technology in the education system. The Initiative helps bridge this gap by equipping America’s students with the skills and experiences needed to secure jobs and compete with countries in the future.

The President also announced that private-sector companies—such as Apple, AT&T, and Microsoft—have committed more than $750 million to deliver cutting-edge technologies in the future.

Read more here.

Photo of the Day: First Lady Visit to FAFSA Workshop

Michelle Obama Selfie with Student

First Lady Michelle Obama takes a selfie with Baltimore student Lawrence Lawson’s phone following a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) workshop at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., Feb. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

On Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama visited T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, to meet with students at a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) workshop. She also spent time delivering some encouraging remarks to the students in pursuit of higher education:

"For those of you who might be wondering why the First Lady is here just to watch you fill out a computer form, it’s because completing this form is a critical start to completing your education. And as the president and I will continue to stress over the next several years and beyond to young people throughout this country, completing your education – whether it’s a 2-year or 4-year college, or vocational program – is the single most important thing you can do for your future. That is it. There’s nothing that compares to getting your education.”

"With a good education, you can get a job that pays a decent salary or more. You can provide for your family, which is key. And you can become whatever you dream of becoming, which is the kind of freedom that I want all of you to have. And filling out the FAFSA form is one of the first and most important steps you can take in that journey.”

To read the First Lady’s full remarks, click here.

Support for Today’s Joan Holloways

In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama emphasized a core issue that has affected generations of working women. "A woman deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship. And you know what, a father does too. It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a ‘Mad Men’ episode.”

Latifa Lyles, Acting Director of the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor, supported the President’s comment regarding women in the work force, and the overall inadequate support for working families in America.

"Since the 1960s, much has changed for women in the labor force. The number ofwomen and mothers in the workforce has risen dramatically, as has their share of household income. Unfortunately, no matter what their occupation, little has changed in terms of workplace support for those that have babies or sick relatives to care for. While there arelaws in place to help protect against pregnancy discrimination, pregnancy and family responsibilities discriminationpersists, and working women risk losing their jobs, not getting hired or missing out on promotions due to pregnancy.”

Read more here.

Caring for the Caregivers

Dr. Biden with wounded warriors

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden host a Wounded Warrior barbecue at the Naval Observatory Residence, Sept. 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

On Wednesday, Dr. Jill Biden delivered opening remarks at an event on the expanding role of caregivers in our society.

"So as the number of caregivers among us continues to increase, we need to find more and effective ways to support caregivers and their efforts. Caregivers face a delicate balance of protecting their loved one's dignity and independence while making hard choices - such as when to take the car keys or checkbook away or how to help with personal care someone can no longer do for themselves.”

"This is an important conversation that will continue later this spring at the White House Summit on Working Families, co-hosted by the Center for American Progress and the Department of Labor. In the interim, we should all find ways to connect with the experience of caregivers, and think about the steps - big and small - we can take, so that all of our loved ones and their caregivers get the support they deserve.”

Read more here.

Moving Forward to Protect Native American Women: Justice Department Announces VAWA 2013 Pilot Project for Tribes

The President and his Administration are making it a priority to improve the safety our nation’s tribal communities, especially for Native American women.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that "46% of Native American women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.” Last year, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett highlighted this issue when she visited with tribal criminal justice leaders engaged in ending violence against Native women.

On Thursday, the Attorney General announced that three American Indian tribes – the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation of Oregon, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, and the Tulalip Tribes of Washington – will participate in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Pilot Project to implement the President’s recently reauthorized Violence Against Women Act.

"Crimes of domestic violence committed on the reservations of these tribes will be subject to tribal criminal prosecution, regardless of the defendant’s status as an Indian or non-Indian. The Pilot Projects are vital to delivering justice for Native American women who are victims of domestic violence and to providing a safer and more secure Indian Country.”

"Tribal participation in these Pilot Projects is crucial in building a better criminal justice system, bolstering tribal control and authority, and ultimately saving the lives of Native American women.”

Read more here.

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