Providing every child with a high-quality education is among our most important responsibility as a community. Educational attainment is an incredibly consequential factor in determining whether children will reach their full potential as healthy, self-sufficient adults. In our region, some students get a great education but others do not.

The failure to meet this responsibility for all of our students further exacerbates social and racial inequities in our society and jeopardizes our state’s ability to compete in a global marketplace.

Student success requires solutions that cut across systems and include the communities, schools and districts most impacted. While questions of funding and approach remain tied up at the state and federal levels, we believe that communities already know what their kids need to be successful in local schools and are the best teachers and allies for their kids. Supporting the organizations working locally to strengthen community schools helps increase the number of resilient students with higher educational aspirations who grow up to reach their full potential.

Learn more (pdf) about the Education element. 

Systems approach

Every child should have access to a high-quality education and be able to overcome income, race and language-based achievement gaps. We are guided by a strategy of promoting a systems approach for cradle-to-career education that removes barriers for students and families living in underserved communities.

Strategy Approaches:

  1. Invest in schools and school districts targeting underserved communities
  2. Promote advocacy and policy action to ensure that students in high-need districts have the resources needed to thrive in school
  3. Measure aggregate student progress to identify gaps and inform potential solutions
  4. Support professional development of early learning providers, school teachers and administrators to ensure local schools benefit from best practice research, have access to a high quality workforce, and have a workforce that mirrors the race and ethnicity of local communities
  5. Encourage collaboration across silos in the education system to ensure a more connected experience for students from cradle to career

Engaging families and communities

Families and communities are essential in supporting student progress. One of our Education element strategies is to design and promote culturally effective ways to engage families and communities in supporting student achievement.

Strategy Approaches:

  1.  Support parents and families as they prepare their young children academically and emotionally for kindergarten
  2.  Promote parent and family involvement in their children’s education by building an understanding of their role in the school system and encouraging participation
  3. Increase the number and effectiveness of parent and family advocates
  4.  Ensure that all families in the region are engaged in developing solutions to support student achievement by supporting language access and culturally appropriate outreach to immigrant and refugee families 

Pathways to the future

Inequities in education not only affects students’ career paths, but jeopardize our region’s ability to compete in a global marketplace. Our Education element employs a strategy to invest in pathways for the future that ensure students are ready for college or job training, a living wage career and fulfilling life.

Strategy Approaches:

  1. Remove barriers that affect school attendance and student engagement in their education (family income, housing, transportation, childcare, and other factors)
  2. Promote skill development in line with what is needed in our current and future workforce (21st century skills, bilingual language development, STEM education)
  3. Reengage young adults disconnected from school through education and skills training
  4. Support systems coordination between school districts and community colleges/four-year degree programs
  5. Promote access to career connections (internships, skill centers)

You can increase your impact by donating to our Education Fund and connecting with one of our philanthropic advisors to meet your giving goals.