Education and Youth

Wed Jan 11, 2017

Following almost nine weeks of pressure from Spokane Alliance members and allies, the Spokane Public Schools (SPS) school board unanimously voted to make a public statement on recent school bullying that included four key points leaders advocated for: reaffirmation of the district’s commitment to respect all students; commitment to swift enforcement of harassment, intimidation and bullying; contact information for those needing to report incidents; and the context of the divisive year in politics.


Fri Feb 6, 2015

Phoenix, AZ – 200 Valley Interfaith Project delegates assembled after the fall 2014 election to celebrate the leveraging of $26.6 Million in public school dollars for Tempe Elementary and Scottsdale Unified School Districts. Leaders achieved this by passing school override ballot measures.

Key legislative allies in attendance vowed to to protect Medicaid expansion that was won in 2013, re-connect public school funding to inflation and advance new legislation for Respite Care, all part of VIP’s 2015 Human Development agenda.


Fri Aug 15, 2014

COPA leaders and their young children celebrated the breaking of ground at Acosta Plaza with shovels, stories and speeches. The story, the way Bibiana Alcala tells it, involved an important first phone call. ”Once our residents said they wanted a basketball court….we contacted COPA.”

Youth and community leaders of Acosta Plaza, in collaboration with other congregations of COPA, lobbied neighborhood associations, Mayor Gunter of Salinas and statewide community foundations to identify funding for the construction of a basketball court. The $100,000 construction project is the result of negotiation: Residents will assist COPA-member and affordable housing provider CHISPA in building the court while the City of Salinas and the California Endowment will help shoulder the costs.

Earlier this year, youth leveraged $500 from a local neighborhood association and then brought Mayor Gunter into the effort — framing the project as an opportunity to help young people in Salinas thrive. This week, construction begins. By October, the court will be ready for basketball.


Fri Mar 14, 2014

When parishioners of Resurrection Catholic Church, the newest member of TMO, learned that Port Houston Elementary School was in danger of closing, they went to their pastor.  Read more here...


Tue Sep 10, 2013

With a 7-0 vote, city council members approved the reallocation of $2.38 Million additional dollars in the 2013-2014 budget to workforce development and youth programs at parks, schools and libraries, even while decreasing the tax rate.  This money was added, at Austin Interfaith‘s urging, in the last two days of budget negotiations.  More here

Tue May 21, 2013

On May 21 2013, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law the Baltimore City School Construction and Revitalization Act of 2013, authorizing more than $1 billion for school construction and renovationthe single largest investment in Baltimore’s neighborhoods in more than 30 years. The effort to overhaul the city’s public school facilities will result in 15 new schools and more than 30 renovated schools across the city.  Nearly 140 of Baltimore city’s 162 school facilities are in poor or very poor condition, and although the district has made significant gains in enrollment and graduation rates over the last several years, Baltimore still lags behind the rest of the state. BUILD is committed that addressing the building needs will be a catalyst for education reforms to ensure Baltimore’s children achieve the highest expectations.

Through the Baltimore Education Coalition, BUILD helped unite the City and State to act on one goal: build schools, build Baltimore. As Michael Sarbanes, Executive Director of the Baltimore City Schools Office of Engagement, explains, “...but for BUILD the $1.1 billion could not have happened. But for your hard work, your willingness to stand up strong and move quickly, your network of relationships, your understanding of how to get things done, and above all your commitment to what Dr. King called “the fierce urgency of now” and to the principle that, “the children come first.” It bears saying again—renovating schools is the single biggest investment in our neighborhoods and our children in Baltimore’s history.”

Thu Dec 20, 2012

School board trustees of AISD voted unanimously to approve a full-scale in-district charter partnership for Travis Heights Elementary, to be managed by teachers, community members, the district’s labor group Education Austin, and Austin Interfaith.  In order for the idea to be voted on, school leaders first leveraged a 90% majority of support from its teachers and parents. The school’s leaders will have greater power over their budget and freedom to create alternative curricula and language programs.

Fri Nov 2, 2012

One thousand COPS/Metro Alliance leaders from 35 member institutions assembled to support a successful bid for a sales tax increase that would raise $248 Million in funding for Pre-K education in San Antonio over 8 years.  In collaboration with Mayor Julian Castro, COPS / Metro Alliance leaders urged voters to pass the 1/8 cent sales tax increase in order to expand Pre-K through centers located throughout the city.  Institutional leaders organized voter turnout efforts in their congregations and neighborhoods.    

Thu Nov 1, 2012

With the promise of the California DREAM Act still a year away, COPA leaders launched a 2012 campaign to bring financial help to undocumented college students in their community.  $150,000 raised from businesses leveraged an additional $150,000 from UC Santa Cruz, allowing COPA and its partners to provide $300,000 in assistance in advance of the law.

Sat Jun 16, 2012

Working alongside partners Transform Baltimore, the Baltimore Education Coalition and Child First, on Monday, June 10 BUILD won passage of a new bottle tax to be dedicated to school construction. This was a long, hard battle for Baltimorechildren. The bottle tax alone will generate $10 million a year that will service $155 million in bond funding, which will be used in 2013 to start building and modernizing at least 10 elementary schools while creating 1200 new jobs. With the Mayor's existing city funding and future slots revenue, this will generate $300 million in total school construction funding. This is a significant down payment on fighting for the $2.8 billion needed now to build new and modernize all of Baltimore schools. 

Next, BUILD will unite the Mayor, the City Council, the Corporate Community, the bottlers and all of Baltimore to stand with our children and demand that the State and City invest in delivering $2.8 billion to rebuild Baltimore schools and generate thousands of jobs.  BUILD and its allies will meet with the bottle industry to launch a Buy Baltimore - 5 cents for our Kids Campaign, encouraging all of us to continue to buy beverages in the City of Baltimore to support local businesses and school construction. 

Thu May 17, 2012

When Valley Interfaith Project leaders learned that there was no additional funding planned for after-school programs in the initial version of the city's budget proposal they pressured Phoenix officials to reinstate services for children and youth.  In response to community pressure, officials voted to restore $6 Million in funding for after-school programs, pools and libraries.

Sun Sep 18, 2011

BUILD recognized a need for after-school programs and more parental involvement, so we created the Child First program, today an independent entity that serves 1,400 youth.

Mon Aug 15, 2011

In 2010, EQUAL launched the Rochdale Early Advantage Charter School (REACS), the only charter school in a neighborhood with few quality school choices.  The school will provide 110 kindergarten, first and second grade students an excellent education, and will eventually expand to serve 235 students.  EQUAL leaders are working to secure a new building, which will be needed as the school grows.


Thu Aug 11, 2011

South Bronx Churches,  a coalition of neighborhood congregations, nonprofit agencies and tenant and homeowner groups, imagined and organized for a modern four-school campus at Mott Haven, now serving over 2000 children with a world-class education in some of the nation's top educational facilities. The new schools campus opened its doors in September 2010 on a seven-acre site at East 153rd Street and Concourse Village West. The $250 million project is the single largest school construction plan in the history of New York City. 


Thu Apr 14, 2011

 BUILD organized with MD IAF and the Baltimore Education Coalition (BEC) to restore $18 million in state funding for Baltimore schools and $94 million state-wide. BUILD joined BEC to meet with legislators in Annapolis, testify at hearings, make phone calls and emails, and helped turnout 2000 parents, students, and teachers on a rainy night to call for restoring the cuts. 


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