The Nation's Voice for Urban Education
April 2022 • Vol. 31, No. 3
Education Officials Address Big-City School Leaders at Legislative Conference
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten lauded urban educators for their innovation and perseverance during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying “you did it with strength, resilience, courage and so much wisdom and grace.”
Rep. Bobby Scott Named Recipient of Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award
At the Council of the Great City Schools’ recent Legislative/Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) was named the recipient of the Dr. Michael Casserly Legacy Award for Educational Courage and Justice.

Philadelphia, San Antonio, New Orleans and Anchorage Name New Leaders
After a six-month national search, the nation’s eighth largest school system will soon have new leadership. Tony Watlington Sr. was recently named superintendent of the 115,000-student School District of Philadelphia.

Duval County Launches Initiative to Erase Stigma Around Mental Health
In an effort to empower students to take control of their mental and emotional well-being, Florida’s Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville recently launched a new mental and emotional wellness initiative.

Portland Public Schools Adopts New Climate Policy
After two years of drafting and community engagement, Oregon’s Portland Public School Board recently passed a climate change policy designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize other negative environmental impacts.

Longtime Legislation Director Retires
Jeff Simmering, director of legislation at the Council of the Great City Schools, recently retired after 28 years of service.

Urban Districts Awarded Best Communities for Music Education
The School District of Philadelphia developed a literacy enrichment program utilizing children’s books with musical themes, leading to student exploration of musical instruments and a student residency program that connects Philadelphia DJs, producers, and musicians with talent.

Legislative Column

Avoiding Speed Bumps on the Road to Recovery
Despite the persistent rise of COVID-19 variants, the long-term recovery from the pandemic is underway as effective vaccines continue to reduce hospitalizations and the gap widens between cases and deaths.

Upcoming Events
Bilingual Director's Meeting
Brief description of the event.

May 10 - May 14, 2022

Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Riverwalk
San Antonio, TX
Executive Director
Ray Hart
Tonya Harris
Staff Writer
Joanne Coley
Staff Writer
Kalin Hicks
Barbara Jenkins
Superintendent, Orange County
Kelly Gonez
Board Member, Los Angeles
William Hite
Superintendent, Philadelphia
A newsletter published by the Council of the Great City Schools, representing 76 of the nation’s largest urban public school districts. Click here to learn more. All news items should be submitted to Tonya Harris (