White House Visits BISD

Alejandra Ceja, executive director for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, said Wednesday that President Obama TMs administration has dedicated $75 billion towards early childhood education and $300 million towards improving high school curriculums.

Ceja and her team met with Brownsville Independent School District teachers, administrators and school board members to discuss ideas on how to improve education for Hispanics " the fastest and largest growing population in the U.S.

She said currently the national graduation rate for Hispanics is 13 percent.

"We need to improve that and it's shocking, Ceja said. We've seen progress in terms of high school graduation and we TMre seeing progress in college completion - we need to get more of our kids through that finish line.

President Obama is not only throwing ideas out there, Ceja said, he's also putting the money necessary to support public education with programs such as Pell Grants (and) gear-up programs.

The president is making historic investments in education," she added.

Former BISD board member and now state board member, Ruben Cortez said the government needs to put its money where its mouth is.

He said students are already excelling with the little they have and with the right funding, the possibilities are endless.

"(They need to) properly fund some of these programs - No Child Left Behind is only funded at about 40 percent - can you imagine if it was 100 percent?" Cortez said.

First grade teacher Cathy Gomez likes the government's ideas and initiatives but said it needs to make sure the current ones are properly working in order to then make improvements.

(They TMre) implementing so many ideas and none of them are being completed and none are efficient, none are successful, Gomez said. So I TMd for them to implement something and see it all the way through.