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October 1, 2014

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Education secretary stays busy on whirlwind day in Las Vegas

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan takes part in a roundtable discussion with various school district principals during a visit to Walter Bracken Elementary School Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013.

U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan Visits Bracken Elementary

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talks with students during a visit to Walter Bracken Elementary School Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. Duncan also took part in a roundtable discussion with various school district principals. Launch slideshow »

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in town Wednesday to promote a wide range of education initiatives, including a new financial aid website, higher academic standards and more collaborative career-technical education.

In the morning, Duncan unveiled a website to 6,000 financial-aid officers attending a conference at Mandalay Bay. The “Financial Aid Toolkit” website was created for high school seniors and their guidance counselors. It serves as a one-stop shop for information and resources related to federal financial aid and loan repayment programs, Duncan said.

After his conference remarks, Duncan toured a fifth-grade classroom at Bracken Elementary School, a “Blue Ribbon” award-winning magnet school, and participated in a panel discussion with 11 local principals. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., accompanied Duncan for part of his visit.

In addition, Duncan visited culinary and automotive classrooms at East Career and Technical Academy. After touring the magnet high school, Duncan participated in a town-hall meeting with community leaders from Las Vegas, encouraging business leaders to get involved in career and technical education.

Later in the evening, Duncan talked about a new federal program called YouthConnect at another convention for career and technical educators. The program will help high schools across the country partner with employers to prepare students for 21st-century careers.

Duncan last visited Las Vegas in November 2011, when he participated in an education town-hall discussion with community leaders.

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