Why does Equitable Education matter?
Oregonians are passionate about education and recognize the profound role it plays in the future well-being of our state. We also understand there are firmly established and complex issues to overcome as public education institutions, policymakers and leaders struggle to meet the evolving needs of all students, as evidenced by persistent gaps in achievement and opportunity experienced by some. These challenges, however, also bring us a new opportunity for a thoughtful, balanced approach that includes amplifying innovation, promoting private/public collaboration and increasing community participation.
Meyer has worked with and invested in communities for nearly 40 years. Our approach has been to partner philanthropic investment with local communities to build the capacity needed to address the important issues impacting our state. As Oregon has evolved, so has our work. In 2016, Meyer set in motion a commitment to education equity based on the premise that the quality and accessibility of public education holds a direct correlation to a flourishing and equitable Oregon.
Data in Oregon are clear: Persistent education opportunity gaps exist with regard to race, economics, English-language proficiency, disability and sexual orientation. Unfortunately, efforts over the years to address disparities have offered limited relief as gaps stubbornly continued their decades-long growth. With a laser focus on both direct practice and systems-level change, Meyer’s education investment strategy aims to shift the culture of statewide, regional and local institutions to build new approaches to old challenges. The Equitable Education portfolio is the best demonstration of our belief in and commitment to public education in Oregon.