In a year that no one could have predicted, it’s not surprising that we’re still sorting out results from the general election. This history-making election saw a record number of voters cast ballots across the country. It’s just as exciting to see such a great turnout and support for a number of ballot issues supported by our network members.
The Cradle to Career Network supported a number of issues that invest from high-quality preschool and children’s services and to increasing how much is spent on college students. And the results are in, with every ballot initiative passing with strong community support. This success underscores the importance of building diverse, cross-sector leadership tables with shared vision and accountability for results.
Research demonstrates that investing in early childhood education leads to transformational results by laying a foundation for success throughout school, higher education and employment.
In Portland, Oregon, All Hands Raised supported the Preschool for All measure. This measure was passed and will generate an estimated $133 million next year and $202 million annually by 2026, providing equitable access to high-quality preschool for all 3- and 4-year-old children in Multnomah County. This access will have a lasting impact on student success. It’s exciting to see Portland leading with a policy that was developed in true partnership with communities of color.
In San Antonio, Texas, UP Partnership supported a sales tax renewal that passed and will generate $38 million for a comprehensive early childhood education program offering full-day pre-kindergarten for thousands of children in their community.
In Thornton, Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Partnership supported a ballot initiative that increased tobacco taxes and closed the vaping loophole. This measure will raise $87 million next year and increase to $276 million by 2028. The revenue will fill gaps in the state education budget and funding for affordable housing and eviction assistance. It will also provide $2 billion into universal pre-kindergarten over the next decade.
In Cincinnati, Ohio, Cradle to Career Cincinnati advocated for the successful renewal of the Cincinnati Preschool Promise that has provided high-quality preschool for nearly 5,000 children since it initially passed in 2016.
In Pensacola, Florida, Achieve Escambia is celebrating the passage of an initiative that will raise $8 million for children’s services. The Achieve Escambia team led an 18-month campaign to support the initiative, which comes alongside similar initiatives to raise $545 million annually across the state.
And finally, in Tucson, Arizona, home of Cradle to Career, voters agreed to increase the limit Pima County Community College can spend on students. This measure opens up $11 million in funding for community college students locally.
While the outcome of the presidential race is uncertain, there’s no doubt the Cradle to Career Network is well positioned to advance better outcomes for every child and every family.