WASHINGTON, DC - United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has just appointed MALDEF President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz, and MALDEF board member, Jesse Ruiz, among twenty-eight members of the Department of Education’s newly created Equity and Excellence Commission.
Composed of education advocates, civil rights leaders, scholars, corporate leaders and lawyers, the commission is tasked with developing ways to close achievement gaps in America’s schools. The body will make recommendations about how federal policies can reduce disparities in educational opportunities and examine ways to restructure school finance systems such that educational resources are distributed equally.
"I am honored to have been appointed to serve on the Commission, and look forward to working with Tom Saenz and all my fellow Commissioners to find more equitable ways to fund our nation's schools. It is a testament to the work of MALDEF, and an acknowledgment of the growing Latino student population across our nation, that MALDEF's president and general counsel and a board member were appointed to the Commission," said Ruiz.
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community," MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access.