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ASPIRA to Host First Annual Latino Education Conference

Event to Explore Theme of Latinos and The School Reform Movement

William Colón, Executive Director of ASPIRA, Inc. of New Jersey, announced that ASPIRA will be the host of the first ever Latino Education Conference in New Jersey. The Conference - whose theme is “Where are the Latino Voices in School Reform?” - will be held at Harrah’s Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City on April 5-6, 1999.

“We hope to provide a truly meaningful conference with provocative speakers. As Latinos, we need to explore where we stand relative to school reform. We constantly hear the arguments regarding school finance and budgets. However, we are seldom given the opportunity to express our opinions and our ideas concerning these issues. In the Abbott v. Burke debate, for example, no one asked us where we stood, even though that case was all about the dollars that buy education for Latino and other poor children in New Jersey,” explained Mr. Colón.

The two day conference will also present workshops on successful models, affirmative action in education, and bilingual education. Additionally, the conference will address the benefits and controversies associated with whole school reform, parental empowerment, parental participation in school management teams, vouchers and the school choice movement. The conference is being co-sponsored by the National ASPIRA Association, the Educational Law Center, the Paterson Education Fund, the Hispanic Directors Association, Essex County College, the New Jersey Association of Parent Coordinators, the Hispanic Association for Higher Education and Medgar Evers College.

ASPIRA, Inc. of New Jersey is the oldest Latino community organization in New Jersey, established more than 30 years ago. It is also the only statewide organization with centers in Jersey City, Newark, Paterson, Trenton and Camden. ASPIRA originated the first school-based dropout prevention programs, and has a national reputation for excellence in their educational support efforts, especially in relation to college-bound Latinos.

Anyone interested in attending the Latino Education Conference may obtain a registration packet by calling Ms. Carmen Nazario at (973) 484-7554 or by faxing the information request to her attention at (973) 484-0184.

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