Last month, Partners was selected by the Lumina Foundation as one of eight non-profit organizations to receive a one-year grant funding to help inform state higher education policy. In partnership with fellow awardee Education Reform Now, Partners will advocate for a new equity-and performance-based state funding formula for higher education to better ensure that Virginia’s colleges and universities serve as a path to educational attainment and a successful career for all Virginians – regardless of race, age, geography, or economic background.
“Our state policy work at Lumina focuses on working with states to improve policies to provide clearer pathways to completion for adult students of color,” said Paola Santana, strategy officer for state policy. “We look forward to partnering with these organizations which share in our mission and our commitment to racial equity, and have demonstrated success in informing the policy process in their respective states.”
Over the past three years, Partners has advanced the issue of state funding reform for higher education through our advocacy efforts in Virginia. Just last year, the Virginia General Assembly took an important first step towards funding reform by greenlighted a study of higher education costs and funding.
“Virginia pumps billions of dollars into higher education each year through an outdated funding model that has resulted in inequitable funding levels that are largely unreflective of state priorities and goals,” said Stacie Gordon, Partners’ director of policy and advocacy. “Thanks to the generous support of the Lumina Foundation, we are excited to partner with our friends at Education Reform Now in advocating for a funding model that helps ensure every student, regardless of race or economic background, is afforded ample opportunity to achieve their educational goals and find success in the workforce.”