Leaders from early learning, K-12 and higher education as well as numerous youth and family services organizations have banded together to form a coalition supporting a cradle-through-college state investment strategy.
A core principle of the strategy calls for the Legislature to invest in each stage of education and end the practice of pitting one part of education against the other, and of pitting education against health and human services.
“Cradle Through College is so important because K-12 systems can’t do it alone. Our students need strong early learning as well as an affordable higher-education system, with engaged community partners all along the way,” said Highline Public Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield.
The Cradle Through College Coalition was announced publicly at the Road Map Project’s Education Results Network meeting on Dec. 4 in Renton.
Paola Maranan, executive director of the Children’s Alliance, spoke to these issues at the meeting, saying, “A cradle-through-college investment strategy recognizes that a child’s learning begins at birth, continues through adulthood and includes supports not confined to the classroom walls.”
Currently, over 40 organizations and institutions have signed on to support the Coalition’s principles.
This upcoming legislative session will be pivotal. The coalition believes it is time to break from “business as usual” and approach education funding as a whole system. The coalition believes that progress on the McCleary lawsuit must be measured by this state’s ability to provide opportunity for every student. The new investments must spur dramatic improvements in student achievement that close the unacceptable opportunity gaps for low-income students and students of color.
The four core principles in the cradle-through-college state investment strategy are:
1. State investments must be made cradle through college.
2. The state must require strong accountability for results.
3. The state must encourage innovation and spread of best practices.
4. Additional funding is needed.
For more information, visit www.c2ccoalition.org.