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Education Campaign

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Imagine Allegheny County as a place where all children have access to high quality learning environments from the first day of preschool until the last day of high school. Imagine a county where all children, no matter their zip codes, have access to schools with adequate funding and safe routes to and from home and out-of-school time opportunities. Right now, that is the reality for some, but not for all.

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Currently, the education policy work of Allies for Children concentrates on three primary areas: public school funding, attendance and out-of-school time programming.

Public School Funding

Allies for Children is proud to be a member of the PA Schools Work campaign.

PA Schools Work is a coalition of organizations from across Pennsylvania representing teachers and other educators; urban, suburban and rural communities; parents and other community members all working together to advocate for PA public schools, their students and the communities they serve.

The campaign’s mission is to ensure that every child, regardless of their background or where they live, is attending a public school that has the funds necessary to help them succeed. To learn more about the campaign, visit http://paschoolswork.org

Attendance and School Transportation

In 2015, Allies for Children published a comprehensive crossing guards study. The project, a partnership between A+ Schools, the City of Pittsburgh, The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern PA, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Be There Campaign and the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development, looked at ways to enhance safety measures and improve relationships between public safety officials and children and youth. Since the study’s release, Allies for Children played a leading role in a working group created by the Office of Mayor William Peduto to implement evidence-based recommendations, including those linked to safety and attendance. 

Building from the work around crossing guards, in 2017 Allies for Children published a white paper At the Crossroads: School Transportation in Allegheny County. The report discusses federal, state, and local pressures school districts face in providing school transportation, walks through innovative approaches actively being used, and gives a snapshot of what school transportation looks like in Allegheny County. Around the development of the report, a collaboration was formed including a collection community partners- Allies for Children, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, The Buhl Foundation, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania Be there Campaign, Port Authority of Allegheny County, along with a collection of local school districts, charter schools, and non-public schools. The overall mission of the collaboration is to determine how pupil transportation could be improved upon for both efficiency and effectiveness on behalf of students and school districts.

Out-of-School Time

Allies for Children continues to advocate for increased funding for and attention to out-of-school time opportunities. Allies for Children serves on the executive committee of Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) and is a member of the Remake Learning Network.

To learn more about Allies for Children’s education related work contact education policy director, Jamie Baxter at jamie.baxter@alliesforchildren.org.