President Barack Obama’s second term began on Monday, January 21, 2013 as between 800,000 and 1 million people gathered on the Mall in Washington D.C. to watch the ceremonial swearing in of the President and Vice President of the United States. The Inauguration celebrated civil rights and diversity with performances by Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, as well as a poem read by Richard Blanco. The invocation was given by Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, and the benediction was given by Rev. Luis Leon of St. John’s Church, Washington.
The President’s Inaugural Address spoke to the power of the government to help its citizens and our ability to triumph if we all come together as Americans. In particular, the President referenced the government’s ability to provide support to children with disabilities and their families. The President also mentioned teachers, stating that “No single person can train all the math and science teachers we'll need to equip our children for the future,” reminding us that education is a vast undertaking and vital to the future of all children.
Education will continue to be a priority in the second term. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced the first ten measures of the new Congress. This list includes both the Sandy Hook Elementary School Violence Reduction Act and the Strengthen our Schools and Students Act. You can see the full list by clicking here.
Additionally, the House Education and the Workforce Committee held their first Full Committee Organizational Meeting of the 113th Congress to outline their goals, which include reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind and better protection of students in schools. You can read the full statement from Chairman John Kline (R-MN) by clicking here.
CEC will continue to advocate regarding these legislative priorities as well as the initiatives presented by President Obama’s Department of Education. Stay tuned as President Obama’s second term and the 113th Congress get started!