"By reversing basic civil liberties afforded to transgender students, the administration is further ostracizing a group of students who have been historically underserved by our public schools and communities. To understand the consequences of this decision, it’s important to remember why the federal government felt it necessary to issue this bathroom guidance in the first place.
Research shows academic achievement declines significantly when students are discriminated against or don’t feel safe – and transgender youth are especially vulnerable. They are already more likely to be bullied and harassed in school, experience depression and drop out before receiving a diploma. Nationally, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) youth account for up to 40 percent of the youth homeless population, and one in five transgender individuals have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.
"We started the Raikes Foundation to build on our personal commitment to the idea that all young people should have equitable access to the systems that help them prosper, regardless of where they are from. These values were instilled in us as children growing up in Washington State and Nebraska; and they are the fundamental ideals that have driven our lives’ work. It’s a part of what makes us so proud to be American.
Over the past few days, the basic civil liberties of immigrants and refugees have been challenged by policies that do not represent the integrity of our great nation. We empathize with those who both seek refuge from persecution and those who come here in search of a better life.Read More
Editor's Note: Washington's Office of Homeless Youth recently completed the state's first plan to solve youth homelessness. Casey Trupin - a program officer at the Raikes Foundation - chaired the office's advisory committee and helped shape this important new path forward for the state. He offers his thoughts on the plan and its significance in the letter below.
As Chair of the advisory committee for the Office of Homeless Youth, I am incredibly thrilled to have been part of the effort to shape and guide the development of this report.Read More
In the United States, race and class remain the most reliable predictors of students’ academic achievement. Despite increasing investments, raising academic standards, focusing on teacher quality, and expanding charter schools the post-secondary completion gap between students of color and their white peers has increased in the last few decades. Our public school system and our nation are becoming more diverse while inequities remain entrenched. We must reimagine an education system that is finally responsive to the needs and experiences of students of color and those from low-income backgrounds and allow these young people to fulfill their potential.Read More