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Educators Invited To Meeting On Technical Assistance

Rural school leaders often face capacity issues, specifically a lack thereof, when it comes to implementing federal grants or programs, but they'll have a chance this week to let federal officials know how they can help.

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana will host an Education Stakeholders Forum, in Washington, to gather input on how the U.S. Department of Education can improve the delivery of technical assistance through its Comprehensive Center network.

The Comprehensive Centers are organizations, such as research groups and colleges, that receive money from the Education Department to train states, schools, and school districts. The centers help grantees implement already awarded grants and programs; they do not help groups apply for new funding.

Officials would like to hear from local educators, especially those who have used the Comprehensive Centers, on improvements that could be made in terms of technical assistance.

"Ultimately, we seek to increase support for rural schools and districts, and there may be areas of TA [technical assistance] that Comprehensive Centers are asked to address in upcoming years," said Deputy Secretary for Rural Outreach John White, in an e-mail. "Rural educators are encouraged to attend the meeting and/or provide comments asking for support from Comprehensive Centers during this stakeholders meeting as one method for identifying needs."

The meeting will be Wednesday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Barnard Auditorium in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Federal building, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. Participants who want to speak should sign up when they arrive at the meeting, and they will receive five minutes. Attendees must RSVP no later than the end of today to [email protected]

If you'd like to submit written input, send it to [email protected] Or, if you'd like to watch it streamed online live, you can do so through the Department.

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