The state Supreme Court must not order action that would endanger children’s constitutional rights to educational opportunity.
So says an Amici Curiae brief filed by four organizations working together to advocate for kids in the context of the McCleary decision. The organizations are Columbia Legal Services, the Equity in Education Coalition, the Children’s Alliance and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance.
Almost half of all Washington children—4 in 10—live in a family with inadequate income. And a rising share of the state’s student body are children of color, who tend to face implicit, institutional and structural racial bias that forms imposing barriers to their success. These factors—whether they take the form of financial insecurity, homelessness, foster care placement, poorer access to health care or household hunger—make a child’s educational opportunity fragile.
Bremerton mother Natasha Fecteau has been learning how to make a difference for kids for several years. This year, she put her learning to work to a far greater extent than before.
Natasha believes child care ought to be within financial reach of parents who are struggling to earn a living. That’s why, when the Children’s Alliance issued a call this year for budget action to protect early learning and stable care for kids, she spoke up for Working Connections Child Care.
She believes timely, preventive oral health care ought to be available for kids and their families. So when Children’s Alliance pushed this year for the creation and authorization of dental therapists, she spoke up about her own arduous experience trying to find a dental professional she could afford.
One out of every 14 children in Washington state has at least one parent who is or has been incarcerated. These 109,000 kids’ counterparts nationwide total 5.1 million—a conservative estimate, according to a new KIDS COUNT report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The number of children affected by incarceration in Washington is 6.5 times greater than the number of inmates in the state’s 12 correctional centers. The needs of these children, as they face increased risks and significant obstacles in life, are often overlooked. Research shows that having a parent imprisoned can have as much impact on a child’s well-being as abuse or domestic violence.
According to the report, the number of children with a father in prison nearly doubled between 1991 and 2007, and those with a mother behind bars more than doubled. Compared with their White peers, Black and Latino kids are seven and three times more likely, respectively, to have a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives.