Demand Equity in Education
For far too long, our most vulnerable children have been denied the opportunity of a quality education. Inequities in educational funding, resources, and opportunities have placed poor and minority children in low-performing schools with inadequate facilities and ineffective teachers.
While the Obama Administration has pledged to level the playing field for all children, several important components of real education reform are in danger of being overlooked. We must demand that our leaders commit to ensuring quality education for ALL children, by revising the Title I Formula, investing in early learning, supporting students in the juvenile justice system and foster care, and ending zero tolerance school discipline policies.
As reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) nears, email your Members of Congress and demand that ALL children receive a high quality education.
Secretary Arne Duncan to Visit CDF Freedom Schools® Site Next Month
On May 7th, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be traveling to New Orleans to meet with 25 young people who served as servant leaders in a CDF Freedoms Schools program and went on to be teachers in their community. Secretary Duncan will be highlighting the CDF Freedom Schools as a successful model for young black males to begin to take a leadership role in serving children in their communities and continuing on the path to being skilled educators in our schools. We are excited to welcome the Secretary to New Orleans, the opportunity for him to meet our young adult leaders, read aloud to the site’s young scholars, and introduce him to “Harambee!"—a 30-minute activity that begins each day at a CDF Freedom Schools site and celebrates and affirms the value of each participant and prepares them for the work and learning ahead.
Learn more about the CDF Freedom Schools program.
Organizational Sign-on in Support of Extending Tax Credits for Low-Income Children and Families
As you well know, poverty and hardship are rising across the nation. Tax credits can help low-income families buy what they need, protect children and boost the economy too. The Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and American Opportunity Tax Credit (for low-income college students) can make a real difference in providing income to millions of families. But if Congress does not act, the improvements recently made to these tax credits will expire. That’s why we need your help! Encourage your service organization, congregation, labor, civil rights, social action, policy, or advocacy group to add its name to an organizational sign-on letter, prepared by the Coalition on Human Needs, which will be sent to Members of Congress urging them to build-on and improve these important tax credits. Visit our website to add national, state and local organizations to the sign-on letter.
May is National Foster Care Month
Next month is National Foster Care Month. There are 463,000 children in foster care. A child enters foster care every two minutes in America. Children and youth most often enter foster care because they have been abused or neglected and need temporary care away from their parents. These children need safety and permanence and attention to their well-being. National Foster Care Month honors those people who step in and care for these vulnerable children by becoming foster parents.
CDF is working hard to help ensure the reforms in the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act truly benefit children in foster care by offering them new opportunities for permanent placements with relatives, expanded support for older youth, increased sibling connections and enhanced educational stability. Reach out in your community during National Foster Care Month to see how the Fostering Connections act is being implemented and other ways you can help children and youths in foster care.
Early Childhood Home Visiting Program
Recent passage of the historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will help millions of parents and children get the health coverage they need. The health reform legislation also makes significant investments in prevention. It establishes a $1.5 billion Early Childhood Home Visiting program, which will deliver in-home early education and support services to at-risk families with young children and families expecting children. Quality, evidence-based home visitation services produce improved outcomes for children and families in important areas: child health and development, greater school readiness, academic achievement, parental involvement, parental employment and economic self sufficiency, and reduced child abuse, neglect and juvenile delinquency. To learn more see New Investments to Help Children and Families: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.