Children's Institute

youtube mail facebook twitter linkedin

Bookmark This

Professor Sean Reardon, Shining a Light on Inequality to Create Change

sean reardon headshot3 cropped optStanford professor Sean Reardon is the keynote speaker at Children’s Institute’s Make It Your Business Luncheon on May 18, 2017. Reardon, a Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education and a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, analyzes the effects of income inequality and segregation on young children’s development and educational experiences. He uses his findings to advocate for proven solutions to support children’s cognitive growth, enhance their educational experiences, and improve their academic achievement.

In a New York Times opinion piece in 2013, Reardon noted, “the more we do to ensure that all children have similar cognitively stimulating early childhood experiences, the less we will have to worry about failing schools. This in turn will enable us to let our schools focus on teaching the skills — how to solve complex problems, how to think critically and how to collaborate — essential to a growing economy and a lively democracy.”

Reardon’s research findings also provide eloquent reasoning for supporting the brain development of young children. “Early childhood experiences can be very consequential for children’s long-term social, emotional and cognitive development. … And because those influence educational success and later earnings, early childhood experiences cast a lifelong shadow.”

Reardon’s landmark analysis on the effects of income inequality on educational experiences and academic achievement, The Widening Academic Achievement Gap Between the Rich and the Poor: New Evidence and Possible Explanations, can be found here.
Join us at the Make It Your Business Luncheon to hear Professor Reardon’s keynote speech on the research that led him to become a strong advocate for investing in early childhood education.

Join us at the Make It Your Business Luncheon to hear Professor Reardon’s keynote speech on the research that led him to become a strong advocate for investing in early childhood education.

Action Alert: Stop the Budget Cuts to Children's Education and Health

Stop the Budget Cuts to Children's Education and Health

On Monday, April 17, the co-chairs of the state budget writing committee (Ways and Means) released a proposed budget that puts kids at risk. Reductions include:

  • 20 percent cut to Early Learning Hubs and Kindergarten Partnership Fund, $5.3 million cut.
  • 10 percent cut to Healthy Families Oregon of $2.5 million, a reduction of 250 children served.
  • 10 percent cut to Preschool Promise of $3.6 million, a reduction of 130 children served.
  • $20 million cut to Employment Related Day Care, a reduction of 1,000 families served.

Call Your Legislators

Call your state legislators today. Find your state legislator here.

You can use this script to call or email your legislators:

Hello. I am (legislator's name) constituent. Please maintain full funding for early childhood programs and services that help keep Oregon's young children healthy and prepares them for school.

I support (choose programs of interest to you): Preschool Promise, Healthy Families Oregon, the Kindergarten Partnership Fund, Early Learning Hubs, Employment Related Day Care and Culturally Specific Early Learning.

We need to find sustainable budget solutions that honor Oregon's values, not squander our most vulnerable children's potential.

Thank you.

Read the Proposed Reduction Lists and Response from Early Childhood Advocates

Read the Ways and Means Co-Chairs’ 2017-2019 Target Reduction Lists.

Read the letter early childhood advocates wrote to the Ways and Means Co-Chairs to express their concerns about the proposed reductions to early childhood programs.


Ways and Means Memo on Early Learning Reductions

To: Joint Committee on Ways and Means Co-Chairs - Senator Devlin and Representative Nathanson

From: Black Parent Initiative, Blue Mountain Early Learning Hub, Building Healthy Families, Children First for Oregon, Children’s Institute, Clackamas County, Early Learning Alliance, Early Learning Hub of Central Oregon, Early Learning Washington County, Eastern Oregon Community Based Services, Fact Oregon, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Marion and Polk Early Learning Hub, Northwest Early Learning Council, Oregon AFSCME, Oregon Alliance for Early Intervention, Ready Nation, South Coast Regional Early Learning Hub, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, Yamhill Community Care Organization

Cc: Governor Kate Brown, Senate President Peter Courtney, House Speaker Tina Kotek, Joint Committee on Ways and Means, Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education

Subject: Ways and Means Co-Chairs’ 2017-2019 Target Reduction Lists

Date: April 24, 2017

We write to you with deep concern about the Ways and Means Co-Chairs’ 2017-2019 Target Reduction Lists. The proposed cuts to programs including Preschool Promise, Healthy Families Oregon, the Kindergarten Partnership Fund and the Early Learning Hubs will fundamentally disrupt the system of early childhood that supports high-quality early education and healthy development for the most vulnerable children in Oregon. Currently, 75 percent of vulnerable children are either not being served or not receiving adequate early childhood services. Nor are we providing Culturally Specific Early Learning which can improve outcomes and eliminate structural barriers to learning for children of color.

These reductions will further undermine the state’s ability to ensure Oregon’s children are adequately ready for school. With the third worst graduation rate in the nation, Oregon cannot risk investing less in early education and healthy development. Vulnerable children who do not access high-quality early education are 25 percent more likely to drop out of high school, 50 percent more likely to need special education intervention, and 60 percent less likely to attend college. The graduation rate cannot improve when 25,000 low-income young children still lack access to high-quality preschool.
The cognitive and social-emotional skills learned in preschool are essential for third grade readiness. Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is one of the most important predictors of high school graduation. Of the 2.5 million kids who dropped out of high school nationwide in 2015, over half received the lowest reading scores on the third-grade literacy exam. A third-grader who reads proficiently is four times more likely to graduate from high school than a third-grader reading below grade level.
We understand that revenue and cost savings are necessary to create a budget that meets the needs of Oregonians. The fiscal reality does not negate the state’s responsibility to its children.

The programs and services that help young children are intrinsically connected to programs that help parents remain healthy and ready to work. If parents have steady health care and reliable childcare, they are more likely to participate in the workforce. Their children are also more likely to thrive. Removing 350,000 low-income adults from Medicaid and cutting $20 million from Employment Related Daycare will have the unintended consequence of removing people from the workforce and creating devastating conditions for thousands of Oregon families.

While the target reductions lists thankfully and appropriately maintains funding for EI/ECSE, Head Start, and Relief Nurseries, the proposed cuts destabilize the healthy development of young children who face significant barriers to opportunity. It is incumbent upon the Ways and Means Committee to find sustainable budget solutions that preserve Oregon’s promise, not squander the future of Oregon’s children.

Download this memo as a PDF file

Three Oregon communities named 2016 GLR Pacesetters

The Campaign for Grade Level Reading announced its 5th Annual Pacesetters Honors today and recognized three communities in Oregon among 48 across the nation for working to improve school readiness, school attendance, and summer learning. 

Lane County

The GLR Campaign recognized Lane County as a 2016 Pacesetter for making population-level measurable progress for low-income children in school readiness and summer learning. United Way of Lane County serves as the backbone support organization for the Lane Early Learning Alliance, which is focused on working together with cross sector partners to create systems of services and supports that are aligned, coordinated, and family-centered to ensure children are prepared to succeed in school and life.

Through Lane County’s collaborative efforts with partners, developmental screening rates for children have increased from 28.3% in 2013 to 67% in 2015, indicating a significant improvement in school readiness for low-income children. Lane County has also implemented and scaled a successful Kids in Transition to School (KITS) program to improve summer learning and strengthen parent success. The KITS program has scaled significantly, from serving 40 children at two sites in 2011 to serving 368 children at 24 school sites in 2016. Program outcomes include a 28% drop in the number children at risk for reading failure, as well as indicators of parental confidence at supporting their children’s learning and positive behaviors. The Campaign would especially like to recognize Lane County for their exemplary work to achieve success, scale, and sustainability of GLR efforts and outcomes.


The GLR Campaign also recognized Wallowa as a 2016 Pacesetter for making population-level measurable progress for low-income children in school readiness. Wallowa is a frontier community with extreme geographic isolation, high levels of poverty, and extremely limited resources. Despite these challenges, an innovative partnership between Winding Waters Clinic and Building Healthy Families has been supporting parent success, school readiness, and holistic health through efforts such as parent education, developmental screenings, Reach Out and Read, and awareness campaigns.

Through these efforts, Wallowa County has seen astounding improvements in school readiness through rates of developmental screenings, with 0% of children birth to age 5 receiving a developmental screening during well-child visits in 2012 to 100% of children birth to age 5 receiving a developmental screening in well-child visits in 2016. Winding Waters Clinic serves 90% of Wallowa County’s low-income population and is making an incredible difference in promoting healthy child development and school readiness in the community.

Earl Boyles

Earl Boyles Elementary in Southeast Portland was recognized as a 2016 Pacesetter for integrating efforts to support parent success and address the health determinants of early school success. Earl Boyles is in the David Douglas School District, one of the state’s highest-need districts. It is a culturally and linguistically diverse community, with more than 20 languages spoken at the school and approximately 70 district-wide.

Since 2012, Earl Boyles has scaled from 1 to 3 preschool classrooms for 3- and 4-year-olds with all catchment 4-year-olds being served and made significant advances in strengthening early learning. The school has:

  • Implemented a multi-pronged summer literacy strategy with community partners
  • Passed a general obligation bond that allocated funding for an early learning wing built with a majority of public funding
  • Established a parent leadership and volunteer group
  • Conducted a Community Health Assessment using a community-based participatory model to understand the child and family health factors impacting school readiness
  • Supported a new governance system to ensure the sustainability of partnerships and efforts

The community uses a data-driven approach and has seen positive outcomes in the areas of school readiness and chronic absence.

Read the press release from The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading


Snapshot of children's health coverage with Medicaid, CHIP, and ACA

Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute has created state fact sheets detailing health insurance coverage for children with Medicaid, CHIP, and the ACA. Below is the Oregon snapshot.

Download as a PDF file.

OregonMedicaidCHIP Page 1

OregonMedicaidCHIP Page 2




Children's Institute | 1411 SW Morrison St. #205 | Portland OR 97205 USA | | (t) 503-219-9034 (f) 503-419-6083

All Rights Reserved © Children's Institute

Translate our Site

You are here: Home CI Updates