April 15, 2019

Sharpening focus on equitable education

The Equitable Education portfolio is excited to announce our 2019 Annual Funding Opportunity!

Meyer will invest approximately $3.55 million to advance our vision of eliminating predictable gaps and increasing opportunity for priority students in Oregon’s public schools.

This is the third round of annual funding for the Equitable Education portfolio. At the end of 2018, we awarded 40 grants out of 99 competitive applications. These grants reflected a mix of rural and urban organizations offering both a vision and approach to directly address educational disparities. Of primary importance was their collective belief that for Oregon to flourish, each student — regardless of race, ethnicity, family income, geography, disability, sexual, gender identity or language — must have the opportunity to succeed in school. We are excited to see how this work flourishes over the next few years!

The Equitable Education portfolio will begin accepting applications on April 15, with a deadline of 5 p.m., on May 15, to accomplish one of the following Equitable Education funding goals:

  • Advance education equity through systems- and policy-level change
  • Improve priority student achievement and college and career readiness

Meyer has identified several intended outcomes under each of these two goals, and we invite you to take a deeper look at our funding goals and intended outcomes as you consider how your work aligns with the vision for this portfolio.

What did we learn from last year’s Annual Funding Opportunity?

The 2019 Annual Funding Opportunity represents a refinement of our framework based on current data as well as feedback we received from nonprofit and education partners. It's also designed to create what we believe to be the greatest opportunity to leverage Meyer's investments in education.

Although there might be modest adjustments to the Equitable Education goals and outcomes, equity remains central to all portfolio grantmaking. In 2019, successful applicants will continue to demonstrate a clear commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Through this lens, organizations will propose a vision and approach to analyzing and directly addressing education disparities experienced by our priority populations across Oregon. These students include:

  • English Language Learners (ELL)
  • First-generation college students
  • Indigenous students
  • Students of color
  • Students with disabilities
  • Students in or aging out of foster care
  • Students living on low-incomes
  • LGBTQ students

After our experience last year, we decided to re-release a visual guide to clarify what fits within the scope of our portfolio. The "fit flowchart" gives a broad overview to see if your work would generally fit within the scope of the portfolio; a companion piece to this is a one-page "insights" document that answers some common questions addressing application competitiveness. You can view that resource here.

What doesn't fit within the Equitable Education portfolio

The Equitable Education portfolio team values the essential work occurring every day across the education continuum and we recognize that preparing an application requires a considerable investment of time and resources by an organization. Insights from last year have provided us with a clear perspective on what doesn't fit within the Equitable Education portfolio:

  • Education programs with universal, one-size-fits-all strategies not specifically designed for priority students, regardless of school, district or regional demographics.
  • Direct early education services; we will, however, support students during the transition between early education programs and kindergarten as well as preparing public schools to offer a smooth transition from home to school.
  • Strategies to address college retention and completion; however, we are interested in supporting efforts that smooth the transition between high school, or equivalent, and college and/or career.
  • K-12 private schools.
  • New or expanded programming developed without meaningful engagement with the priority population it is intended to impact.
  • Environmental education programming not specifically designed to meet the academic, social or cultural needs of priority students.

Learn more

The Equitable Education team has conducted information webinars in which we shared insights into what fits within the scope of the portfolio; introduced our priority populations; provided additional information about our vision, goals and outcomes for eliminating gaps and increasing opportunities for students; and much more.

Finally, 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.

We look forward to working with you in the coming year!

Matt