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This morning, The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the George W. Bush Institute will host a timely conversation on the unique and integral role that faith-based K-12 schools play in urban settings.

This event, titled “Sacred Spaces: Faith Based Schools and American Cities” will take place at the George W. Bush Institute on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.

The event brings together policy makers, philanthropists, school leaders, and academics for an honest and action-oriented conversation on what faith-based schools mean to the development and revitalization of many of our cities.

Speakers will include George W. Bush Presidential Center President Margaret Spellings, former Washington DC Mayor Anthony Williams, former St. Petersburg, Florida Mayor Rick Baker, Boston University’s Charles Glenn, and Notre Dame’s Rev. Timothy R. Scully, CSC.

“At a time when the dialogue about K-12 education often seems unnecessarily polarized and stultifying, this is an opportunity for leaders across the political and ideological spectrum to re-imagine what faith-based schools can mean to our cities," said Rev. Timothy R. Scully, CSC, ACE’s founder and Director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI).

“Across the country, we see so much evidence that faith based schools are indispensable instruments of both intellectual formation and social transformation. These schools truly are sacred places serving a valuable civic purpose, and we owe it to our communities and our children to do whatever it takes to support their revitalization.”


"Many faith-based schools are national treasures, particularly those that are producing meaningful results in the inner city with disadvantaged students," said Secretary Margaret Spellings, President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. "At a time when more than three-fourths of the fastest-growing jobs require at least a high school diploma, we need every school in America to have success rates like many of our urban faith-based schools.”
The invitation only event will be webcast live, beginning at 9:30 a.m. CT, at  www.bushcenter.org/live. 

The University of Notre Dame’s involvement in the event marks the kickoff of the Fighting for Our Children’s Future National Bus Tour, a cross country effort to raise awareness for the profound impact that K-12 schools have on the future of our children’s lives, and to celebrate the unique role that Catholic schools play in nurturing the soul of our nation.  The branded bus, scheduled to visit nearly 50 cities over the next nine months, begins the tour in Dallas, with visits to local schools on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4. For more information, visit http://ace.nd.edu/20.

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About the Alliance for Catholic Education
The University of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education impacts the lives of several hundred thousand children nationwide by preparing highly talented teachers, principals and school leaders, while offering an array of professional services for US Catholic Schools—the world's largest private school system. ACE works in partnership with hundreds of schools to ensure that the students in their communities, many of them from low-income families in high poverty communities, have access to a high-quality education.

About the George W. Bush Institute:  The George W. Bush Institute advances freedom through education reform, global health, human freedom and economic growth. In all its programming, the Institute integrates initiatives that empower women and military service personnel. The Bush Institute is the policy arm of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which includes the Presidential library and museum, located on the campus of SMU in Dallas.

For more information, please visit www.bushcenter.org, Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheBushCenter) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TheBushCenter).