March 13, 2017

Our strategy for equitable education

In early February, Meyer announced our newest portfolio, Equitable Education. After nearly a year of engaging stakeholders across Oregon, our clear vision has emerged:

Ensuring meaningful public education for all.

In service to this vision, the Equitable Education portfolio will focus on three key goals:

  • Build a unified movement to advance equitable education: The underpinnings of any success is the collective mobilization of committed and unified individuals toward a common cause. This goal will support a broad-based movement for equitable education that mobilizes the power and potential of students, families, communities and organizations toward unified action, meaningful change and education opportunity for all.
  • Create systems- and policy-level impact: Leadership, priorities and policies do not reflect the diversity of needs or the rich array of cultures and traditions that Oregon communities bring to support families and children. To create the system change needed at all institutional levels, this goal will support initiatives that demonstrate potential for positive policy- and systems-level impact in Oregon’s public education system.
  • Improve student achievement and college and career readiness: Research and practice demonstrate that focusing efforts on key transitional moments can boost student achievement. This goal will seek to partner with communities, organizations and institutions that build, expand and innovate to support student success.

What we support

Equity is central to all Meyer grantmaking. Successful applicants will demonstrate a clear commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Through this lens, they have a vision and approach to analyzing and directly addressing current disparities so that all students in Oregon have the opportunity to obtain a meaningful public education.

Equitable Education portfolio investments will target increased educational opportunity and achievement in our priority populations, including:

  • Underserved communities of color

  • English Language Learners (ELL)

  • Students living in poverty

  • Students with disabilities

  • First-generation postsecondary students

We will look for opportunities to support systems- and policy-change that shift the structural status quo and focus on institutional opportunities that prioritize a vision for equitable education. Portfolio investments will seek organizations and collaborations with a high capacity for positive educational results, vision and innovation, organizing and alliance building, change communications, and diverse, inclusive and effective leadership.

What we won’t support

Meyer values the essential work happening every day across the education continuum, but our goals point to encouraging system-level, innovative approaches. Universal, one-size-fits-all strategies are not a good fit for this funding call, nor are proposals seeking to substitute public education.

Although we maintain our portfolio’s multi-year commitments to early education through collaborative partnerships such as the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative and the Early Childhood Funders Learning Circle, Meyer’s early education investments will focus primarily on supporting students during the transition between early education programs and kindergarten and preparing public schools to offer a smooth transition from home to school. Direct early education services will not be an area of investment at this time.

Meyer remains committed to higher education through a strong emphasis on supporting students successfully transitioning from high school, or equivalent, to postsecondary college or career training. Building or capital campaigns and strategies to address college completion will not be supported by this portfolio at this time.

Join us

The education opportunity gap in Oregon has persisted for too long. We are committed to removing barriers through partnership with communities and organizations committed to building meaningful public education for all students. We invite you to take a deeper look at our funding goals and strategies and consider joining us in this important work. You can find the full funding opportunity here. The deadline to submit an Inquiry Application is 5 p.m., Friday, April 19.

We’ve organized a set of Applicant Resources to make the process easier. You’ll find additional information, tools and advice on topics ranging from diversity, equity and inclusion to Meyer’s definition of collaborations.

General information sessions will be held across the state as well as portfolio-specific conference calls if you’re not able to make a session. If you can’t attend either, please contact us at questions [at] or 503-228-5512.