PA Secretary of Education visits FLC


Ace Ludwig

PA Secretary of Education Noe Ortega sits in FLC’s library.

The Flash Editorial Board

On Friday September 24, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education Noe Ortega visited Franklin Learning Center. Ortega, the top education official in Pennsylvania, was in Philadelphia to receive the 2021 Ambassador Manuel Torres Award. The Flash at FLC took the time to sit down with Mr. Ortega to discuss some topics of interest in our school community. Here’s what he had to say about the 2021-2022 school year.

On the importance of health
“I think to me health has always been something important when you think about education. Well educated folks who have more educational attainment tend to have better health outcomes and to me that’s a really important outcome to think about with education.”

On the lack of School Nurses in the District
“I think every school should remain open even when they don’t have the full service of all these individuals, but as a state or as a person in the position in the state to make a change we need to elevate the importance of getting those individuals to schools as soon as possible.
And we’re really trying to find ways to encourage maybe nurses who don’t want to be in the front line at a hospital to think, can we get them in a path to serve at a school.”

On Special Education Students
“I think they’re being served in ways that are better than the way they were served before.
Are we meeting all of their needs entirely? Absolutely not. And I think special education students really struggled during [the last 16 months] particularly since there was no face-to-face interaction and in many cases many of them had to get most of their services and support from family members.”

To young people
“I wanna begin by just thanking students for the tremendous amount of resilience and courage they showed in the past year, year and a half, and continue to show moving forward. It’s been really challenging to have a school year taken away from you. All the things you remembered that you loved about school being with your friends, extra curricular activities, the Friday night sporting events, all the things that are important including prom, we went without an entire year. And yet we all managed to find a way to continue to make the best of the circumstances we have. So to all students I want to say thank you for all you have done and continue to do and I want to encourage everyone to be optimistic about the future. To encourage everyone to do what you can to talk to other folks to figure out, how are we going to to begin to trust each other again? How are we going to work together to rebuild some of the trust that has faded in the past 18 months.”