The Center for Learner Equity (CLE) has received a three-year, $825,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) to support research and the development of coalitions dedicated to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for students with disabilities. Previous funding from WFF enabled CLE to conduct bi-annual analyses of federal Civil Rights Data Collection, examine charter school leadership pipelines, and highlight school-based leaders demonstrating a commitment to high expectations for students with disabilities.
Specifically, CLE will use funding from the recent grant to conduct and disseminate research regarding students with disabilities’ educational opportunities and experiences for the purpose of identifying and promoting best practices. The research will provide CLE with a foundation to develop partnerships and engage with federal, state, and local organizations equally committed to improving opportunities and outcomes for students with disabilities. CLE’s ultimate goal is to proactively create environments that enable students with disabilities to access and succeed in charter schools by leveraging state charter laws to drive innovation.
Romy Drucker, Executive Director of WFF’s Education Focus Area, said “All children deserve learning environments that allow them to grow, thrive and reach their full potential. The Center for Learner Equity is doing critical work to advance policies and practices that support the needs and gifts of students with disabilities.”
Lauren Morando Rhim, executive director and co-founder of CLE, is grateful for the foundation’s continued investment and the new opportunities the grant provides to advance the organization’s mission. Morando Rhim notes, “Our efforts to improve the policy conditions and practices essential to ensuring students with disabilities can exercise choice and enroll in schools equipped to enable them to succeed simply would not be possible without ongoing support from the Walton Family Foundation.”
Established in 2013, the Center for Learner Equity is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities, particularly those in under-resourced communities, have the quality educational opportunities and choices they need to thrive and learn. The Center for Learner Equity accomplishes this through research, advocacy, coalition formation, and capacity building with national, state, and local partners.