IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 13, 2016
Advance equity at every step of the education continuum
WASHINGTON STATE – The Cradle Through College Coalition (C2C) is calling on state policymakers to move Washington State’s education system forward this legislative session with a focus on equity from early learning through higher education.
The practice of addressing education funding in separate disconnected siloes – often pitting one against the other, or pitting education against supports for low-income families – is an approach that doesn’t yield positive results. C2C recognizes this counterproductive path has led to large and persistent achievement and opportunity gaps and to under investment at each stage of the education continuum. C2C supporters believe that children and young adults need the opportunities that quality education affords at each stage of their lives. Washington students can’t afford a “check-box” approach to education that maintains the status quo.
“All Washington children should have the doors of opportunity open to them from the start,” said Ana Mari Cauce, President of the University of Washington. “From their first steps until they have the chance to confidently walk onto the campus of the University of Washington or one of our state’s other outstanding colleges, we want them to have the opportunities they need to lead fulfilling lives and productive careers.”
C2C, guided by its principles, is calling on the Legislature to recognize our education system as a continuum that requires thoughtful, targeted solutions to get results for all Washington students. Early supporters are urging people and organizations across the state to review the coalition’s platform and join C2C in support.
Early endorsers of C2C include the Renton, Highline, Tukwila, Federal Way, Auburn, and Kent School Districts, University of Washington, the Seattle Colleges, Rural Alliance for College Success, OneAmerica, MomsRising, Office of the King County Executive Dow Constantine, Children’s Alliance, League of Education Voters, Stand for Children, Southeast Seattle Education Coalition, Solid Ground, Statewide Poverty Action Network and many others.
Washington State is facing historic challenges, and the critical decisions made by policymakers will have a lasting impact on students and their families, which will in turn impact the economic vitality of the state.
“Taking a cradle through career approach is so important because K-12 systems can’t do it alone,” said Dr. Susan Enfield, Superintendent of Highline Public Schools. “Our students need strong early learning as well as an affordable, high-quality higher education system, with engaged community partners all along the way.”
Washingtonians are known for developing solutions to some of the planet’s most complex problems. Our education system should reflect that same spirit of innovation and commitment to excellence. We must do more for low income students and students of color. We need resources to flow to where they are needed most and we need policies and practices to combat the daily effects of institutional racism and implicit bias.
“Early learning lays the foundation necessary for student success in school and in life,” said Jon Gould, Deputy Director of Children’s Alliance and co-chair of the C2C Coalition. “All Washington students need the stability of having their basic needs met and a strong cradle through college education continuum.”
It is more important than ever that Washington State be unified in its commitment to education and its understanding that our systems are serving the same children. Seeing that every part of the continuum is strong, connected, and focused on excellence and closing gaps is essential to our shared future.