Tag Archives: Education

Combatting Injustices in the Public School System

Although it is summer, as stationary stores and commercials tell us, it’s already time to start thinking about the fall and what the school year brings along with it. As we sharpen pencils and preemptively pack our backpacks, it’s hard not to take a moment to reflect on why we go through this ritual every year. Education is seen as a pathway to the American dream, and is key to lifting Americans out of poverty.

About 20% of our country’s children live in poverty, and this rate is further exacerbated when looking at children of color. 38% of African American children, 36.8% of American Indian and Native Alaskan Children, and 33% of Hispanic children are living in poverty, showing how disproportionately certain communities are impacted. For all children, education is especially crucial to create opportunities, but for many students of color, this promise is not necessarily their reality. A child of color is over twice as likely to be poor as a white child. Millions of students go to schools that are underfunded and that lack important resources. Schools where the majority of students are African American are two times as likely to have teachers who are less experienced than a school with a majority of white teachers, which therefore leads to even more inequalities in the classroom.

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Making DREAMs a reality

By Jenny Swift

When I was a senior in high school, the question I was asked by family and friends more times than I would like was where I would be attending college next year. For students who are undocumented the question might be different: what will you be doing next year? It’s a small difference, but a noticeable one. Tens of thousands of children who have grown up in this county and have attended and graduated from public schools are stuck, without the opportunity to advance, because the documentation required to apply to college, and more importantly, federal aid, is often out of the grasp of students whose parents brought them to this country when they were small children. Future doctors, lawyers, teachers, and the scientist who will cure cancer are all unable to reach their true potential due to immigration laws that keep children down, not raise them up to achieve the American dream. Read more…

Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Stop Cuts to Family Planning

The past few weeks have brought mixed news in the realm of sexuality education. At the end of June, we wrote about a House sub-committee vote to eliminate programs proven to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy, reduce abortion and save tax dollars in Fiscal Year 2016.

Since then, a Senate sub-committee voted to advance similar cuts, proposing a budget that would significantly cut funding for the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) and for Title X family planning centers, while increasing funding for abstinence-only until marriage programs by 300 percent. By gutting funding to family planning services for low-income individuals and undermining evidence-based programs like TPPP, these appropriations bills would leave millions of Americans without information and services to keep themselves safe and healthy. Read more…

Protect LGBT Students from Discrimination

Currently, federal law explicitly protects students from discrimination in school based on race, color, national origin, sex and disability. However, no federal law explicitly protects students from discrimination based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or their association with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

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Ruling for Marriage Equality Ensures Epic Pride Month 2015

Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued a historic ruling in favor of marriage equality, which establishes marriage equality in all fifty states. As we celebrate this victory for equality and as LGBT Pride month comes to an end, here’s a look back at some of the LGBT milestones that occurred this month:

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Title IX Protest

Realizing the Promise of Title IX

Yesterday, we celebrated the 43rd anniversary of Title IX, a section of the 1972 Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education programs and activities that receive federal funding. Widely known as the statute that governs varsity athletics, Title IX has helped advance women’s rights in collegiate sports, yes—but it has also laid the foundation to protect broader women’s rights to educational equality. The statue provides legal protections for student survivors of rape and sexual assault, a critical step in ensuring a safe and productive educational environment where students can learn and thrive. Read more…

Faith Organizations Urge Lawmakers to Take a Stand on LGBT Discrimination

Currently, federal law explicitly protects students from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, and disability. However, no federal law explicitly protects students from discrimination based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or their association with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 846/S. 439) would address this issue by explicitly prohibiting public schools from discriminating against any student based on the categories above.

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Teen bundled in a blanket at school

Taking Congress to School: Funding American Indian Schools

As the school year starts to close across the country, one of the Department of Defense’s Crossroads Elementary in Virginia will use the summer to prep for its first full year of school. With features like geothermal heating and a rooftop garden, Crossroads is one of 134 schools being rebuilt as part of a 10-year, $5 billion plan through the Department of Defense. This state-of-the-art facility stands in marked contrast to many schools under the direction of the Bureau of Indian Education, which is also federally funded. Whereas the Department of Defense is receiving $5 billion over 10 years for construction projects, the Bureau of Indian Education received just 2% of that total, $39 million over four years, even though it operates almost the same number of schools. Read more…