Any path towards creating a truly socially equitable world requires that everyone has access to a high-quality education. This truth is a major reason why we created the Education Opportunity Project (EOP). The EOP understands that the opportunity gap is the most pervasive and damaging problem in the U.S. educational system. In order to close this gap, the EOP provides capital and strategic advice to entrepreneurs and organizations working to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged populations. This month, we highlight an organization that works in the public policy realm to create a better education system for all, OLÉ.
OLÉ is a nonprofit, grassroots membership organization of working families. Since 2009, its members and staff have worked together to strengthen their communities using issue-based campaigns and electoral engagement to ensure working families are playing a critical role in shaping New Mexico’s future. By centering its work on the experiences of people of color, early educators, parents, workers, and immigrants, OLÉ creates a space for people to grow their leadership and create lasting change in New Mexico.
One of OLÉ’s core campaigns of particular interest to the Education Opportunity Project is the organization’s early education campaign. OLÉ members work to expand access to early education for every child in New Mexico. Because this is an issue that affects families, early educators, and center owners, a coalition of owners/directors, parents, and early educators was created to increase access for children and families, raise wages for early educators, and ensure that centers flourish.
EOP’s support is helping OLÉ advocate for a constitutional amendment to open up New Mexico’s Land Grant Permanent Fund to help fund universal early childhood education. If approved by voters, $200 million in annual funding will be allocated to education programs, including $125 million to fund significant systems changes in early education. This money would come from the state’s $22 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund.
At Voqal, we understand that creating an education system that is fair and equitable takes a variety of approaches. We believe the policy work that OLÉ engages in is one of those approaches and we are proud to support it. We look forward to their continued advocacy around not only the Land Grant Permanent Fund ballot measure but all of their efforts to create a more accessible education system in New Mexico.
Learn more about the organizations the Educational Opportunity Project supports on our educational impact investments page.