Partnering for educational equity

Two Boulder County children enter kindergarten. One has well-educated parents and a family with an income that is middle class or higher. The other has parents with less schooling and a lower income. Odds are, their futures look different.

What does the Community Foundation mean by educational equity? We strive for the day when it’s no longer possible to predict students’ success by where they live, their family’s income or their race or ethnicity.

Your Community Foundation has catalyzed partnerships to support educational equity with dozens of nonprofits, government agencies, and business and faith leaders. Together, we mobilize resources and ignite action to ensure a better future for all Boulder County kids.

The foundation’s School Readiness Initiative (SRI) has developed, launched, incubated and spun off ELPASO – Engaged Latino Parents Advancing Student Outcomes – a movement designed to build the Latino parent voice for improved early learning outcomes. Additionally, SRI has helped double preschool and full-day kindergarten in Boulder County and secure more than $37 million in annual public funding to our schools. SRI has also facilitated collaborative efforts to improve educational outcomes, such as BVSD’s Success Effect, Dream Big and The Raising of America Partnership in Boulder County.

Consistent with its longstanding commitment to education, your Community Foundation actively endorsed legislation to fund full-day kindergarten and ban the practice of public schools charging tuition. The Colorado General Assembly passed the bipartisan measure in 2019.

To date, the Community Foundation has supported eight ballot initiatives related to protecting or increasing funding for public education. We will continue to work toward a day in which all children starting kindergarten have a real chance of success.

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by Sabine Kortals Stein