As you may know, SVP Portland joined forces with five of our Community Partners in 2018 to formally establish the Equity Collaborative. The Collaborative’s goal is to increase investment in culturally-specific early childhood practices and shift the public narrative to make equity a priority in Oregon’s early education system. Together, we were successful in securing $20 million for the next two years to support those programs, as part of the Student Success Act. This was a significant milestone for SVP, our Community Partners, and Oregon.
However, in Spring 2020, we faced the dire consequences of COVID-19 and an economic recession, potentially resulting in massive shortfalls in state revenue. This meant that we wouldn’t necessarily see the $20 million actually dispersed. Therefore, the Equity Collaborative met with civic leaders to explain the disproportionate impact on communities of color, and how critical maintaining the Equity Fund is for our children.
Fortunately, we learned this week that $4.6M from the Equity Fund will be headed to our current and former Community Partners.
While this statewide win is important progress toward achieving our goal of access to quality, culturally-relevant preschool, there is more we must do locally. Multnomah County’s Preschool for All initiative is currently working on a potential November 2020 ballot measure that would provide sustained public funding to expand preschool access across Multnomah County for the thousands of children in our community who are not currently being served.
Thank you, SVP Partners, for your continued support! Because of you, we serve as a capacity building partner for the Equity Collaborative and Preschool for All, to help secure these important resources.