In the Public Policy SpaceSeptember 29, 2016
Through our Arizona Latino Student Success and Florida Regional Student Success efforts, Helios Education Foundation is working to ensure that low-income, underrepresented, first-generation students succeed across the education continuum and achieve a postsecondary education.
We are honing in on four key strategies: Strategic Investing, Building and Reforming Systems, Public and Political Will Building, and Collaborating and Convening. With our new public policy agenda now established, Public and Political Will Building is emerging as a key priority for us as we advance education reform in Arizona and Florida for the betterment of all students.
In Florida, we know that in order to improve and sustain educational opportunities for all students we must increase the understanding of the public and policymakers of the link between Florida’s economy — particularly in the Miami, Orlando and Tampa regions — and first- generation, minority and underrepresented student success. Their success is a bellwether of our state’s future economic success. Helios will be seeking broad public and political support for shared goals that improve student achievement. With our regional approach in the Miami, Orlando and Tampa markets, we aim to strengthen the conditions needed to drive large-scale, sustainable change.
Arizona’s economic prosperity is linked to the success of all students, but especially Latino students who represent the largest percentage of our K-12 public school population. Alarmingly, a large academic achievement gap exists between Latino students and their white peers which is negatively impacting postsecondary degree attainment in our state. We need broad support from the public and from policymakers in order to put effective reforms and strategies in place that improve educational outcomes for Latino students and for all students in Arizona.
Across our public policy agendas in Arizona and Florida, there will be issues that we champion and there will be issues that we collaborate on in partnership with others. Either way, Helios Education Foundation will be working with elected leaders at the local, state and federal levels to advance meaningful and effective education reform that better prepares our students to succeed in college, career and life.