---Education Committee Welcomes Delaware's Secretary of Education---
Washington, DC-- Today, Congressman Mike Castle attended a U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Hearing entitled “Improving Early Childhood Development Policies and Practices", which brought together early childhood education providers and program administrators in order to provide Members with a better understanding of the different policies and practices within the early childhood sector.
One of the day's guest witnesses was Dr. Lillian M. Lowery, who was appointed as Delaware’s Secretary of Education by Governor Jack Markell in January 2009.
"Over 11 million children under age five spend an average of 36 hours a week in non-parental care settings," said Rep. Castle. "Research increasingly points to the critical importance of quality early childhood education as the foundation for school success. Since serving as the Governor of Delaware, I have actively worked to ensure children five years of age and younger have access to high-quality early education. I believe Congress should also look at ways in which we can support the work states are currently doing to guarantee our youngest children are provided the early learning opportunities they need to succeed in school and in life. To do this, we must work in a bipartisan manner to make certain parents remain in control of their child's early childhood care and education."
Rep. Castle is a co-sponsor of the recently introduced PRE-K Act, which establishes partnerships between states and the federal government to improve state-funded preschool programs serving children ages zero to five. Additionally, he authored Child Nutrition legislation and Special Supplemental Nutrition Programs for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), programs which work to improve student health by increasing student access to nutritious meals and snacks and reach more than 39 million children through various grant programs.
"Delaware recognizes that what children experience from birth to age five has a direct impact on their future success in school and life," said Dr. Lowery in her testimony at today's hearing. "As we have learned more about the importance of brain development during the early years, there has been a renewed commitment to work together in public/private partnerships to increase the number of young children entering school prepared to succeed. Through, federal, state, corporate and private resources have been blended to develop a combination of universal and targeted programs and supports from birth through kindergarten. "
Additional Background on Secretary Lowery
Prior to her appointment as Secretary of Education, Dr. Lowery served as Superintendent of the Christina School District in Wilmington, Delaware. The District serves nearly 20,000 students who reside in portions of the City of Wilmington and surrounding suburbs.
Before serving as Superintendent in the Christina School District, Dr. Lowery was the Assistant Superintendent of Cluster VII for Fairfax County Public Schools in Fairfax, Virginia. She also served for two years as an Area Administrator for Fort Wayne Community Schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Dr. Lowery has taught middle and high school English in school districts in Fairfax and Alexandria, Virginia, and Gastonia, North Carolina.
Please e-mail Stephanie Fitzpatrick at email@example.com for photos from today's hearing.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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