Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit Maine next week as part of his Courage in the Classroom bus tour.

Duncan will visit the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery on Aug. 31 for a lunchtime meeting with military families and a tour of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Youth Center. In Portland, Duncan will participate in a roundtable discussion about school safety with U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, parents, teachers, administrators and school board members at the King Middle School.

“To me the most important thing we can do for education is to focus on teachers,” said Pingree in a news release. “That means attracting, retaining and supporting high quality teachers and keeping them in the classroom, and I hope that’s the message Secretary Duncan gets from this visit.”

Pingree, who served as school board chairman in her town of North Haven, said she also wants Secretary Duncan to see for himself what Maine schools are all about.

“We are a rural state and that presents some unique challenges,” she said. “I don’t think we should necessarily be lumped in with big city schools when it comes to education policy.”