February 22, 2011 — University of Virginia School of Law professor Jim Ryan, who was named to the U.S. Department of Education's Equity and Excellence Commission on Thursday, will be available to discuss the commission's work following its inaugural meeting today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ryan and 27 other national education advocates, civil rights leaders, scholars, lawyers and corporate leaders appointed to the commission will examine the impact of school finance on educational opportunity and recommend ways school finance can be improved to increase equity and achievement. The Department of Education formed the commission in response to a congressional request included in the fiscal year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
"I'm honored to serve on this commission, and I applaud the Obama administration and Department of Education Secretary Duncan for addressing a huge and difficult issue: How to structure school funding systems to achieve both excellence and equity," Ryan said. "We will certainly have our work cut out for us, but I am hopeful that we will be able to make a genuine contribution to what will undoubtedly be a longer conversation."
Ryan's recently published book, "Five Miles Away, A World Apart," focuses on how urban and suburban school systems remain largely segregated and separated by a considerable achievement gap. Ryan is the William L. Matheson & Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law and the F. Palmer Weber Research Professor of Civil Liberties and Human Rights. He also directs the Law School's Program in Law and Public Service.
REPORTERS: Jim Ryan will be available for interviews following the meeting Tuesday after 5 p.m., at 434-806-0939 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.