State Teams Examine Education Priorities at Hunt Institute’s Education Retreat

Washington, D.C. – Former governors, state education teams and leading national resource experts will come together to engage in meaningful conversation around today’s most pressing education topics during the “2019 Education Retreat: Advancing Cross-State Conversations” hosted by the Hunt Institute on April 11-12 in Washington, D.C. 

The Hunt Institute is partnering with the Ronald Reagan Institute to hold the Retreat in conjunction with the Reagan Institute Summit on Education (RISE) 2019. 

“As Governors, we hold the highest level of responsibility to ensure that programs and supports are in place for our children to succeed in school and beyond,” said former North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. “Both events – RISE 2019 and the Retreat – are extraordinary opportunities to lead critical conversations on the partnerships and policies needed to better serve our young people.” 

Gov. Hunt, known as the nation’s first “Education Governor,” will participate in the RISE closing panel session entitled, “Setting Audacious Goals.” He joins former New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige, Sen. Tim Kaine and Education Trust President and CEO John B. King Jr. in a bipartisan panel that will discuss strategic education reform and explore the goals policymakers should strive toward as they look ahead to the future. 

The Hunt Institute kicks off its Retreat Thursday afternoon with welcome remarks from its President and CEO, Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, a former Secretary of Education for Virginia. 

“The goal of our Retreat is to not only provide a space for this critical dialogue to take place, but to also build understanding of diverse educational issues and strengthen partnerships to create better programs and policies that set our students up for success,” said Siddiqi. “I’m confident that this time together will help inspire our leaders for future action in their states.” 

Following RISE’s closing panel session, the Education Retreat continues with a reception and dinner where Jon Schnur, chairman and CEO of America Achieves, will share how state leaders can create strategic partnerships across education, business, and government to help underserved student populations succeed in higher education and enter the workforce. 

The second day of the Retreat will bring state teams together in a private, nonpartisan setting to learn from and engage with resource experts and education leaders who will share their expertise and experiences to build state capacity on important education issues. 

“The Retreat will provide an outstanding forum to engage with education experts and with fellow state leaders to better understand how we can improve educational outcomes for all students,” said former Governor of Vermont Jim Douglas, who will participate in both events. “Only by working together can we truly create solutions that address the challenges we face in our states.” 

Policy discussions will cover the entire education continuum – from early learning through higher education and the workforce – and will focus on effective approaches to early childhood education, the principal preparation pipeline, postsecondary attainment and state partnerships. 

Attendees will hear from a variety of resource experts and education leaders from across the country including: 

  • Dr. James Lane, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction 
  • Atif Qarni, Virginia Secretary of Education 
  • Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, President & CEO, Hunt Institute 
  • Laura Fornash, Senior Vice President of State Government Relations, McGuireWoods 
  • Marica Cox Mitchell, Director of Early Learning, Bainum Family Foundation 
  • Richard Gonzales, Senior Advisor for Early Childhood Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
  • Rachel Schumacher, Senior Advisor on Early Childhood, Hunt Institute 
  • Hanseul Kang, District of Columbia State Superintendent of Education 
  • Sarah Rosenberg, Senior Director of Policy, New Leaders 
  • Andy Cole, Consultant, The Wallace Foundation 

The Retreat was made possible by a number of supporters and funders, including: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Dominion Energy, John M. Belk Endowment, Pritzker Children’s Initiative, SAS Institute, Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation, State Farm and The Wallace Foundation.