Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson share a passion for bringing the best educational opportunities available to students in their cities. That’s part of the reason why both support charter schools. As Mayor Strickland wrote in her op-ed for the Bellingham Herald this Sunday, “Everyone knows that public schools work well for most students, but not for all. Roughly 14,000 children a year drop out of school in Washington. That number is unacceptable. We must do better. Public charter schools are one proven way to address this ongoing crisis.”
Mayor Johnson came to a similar conclusion from his own life experiences. Johnson grew up Oak Park, a low-income neighborhood in Sacramento. Thanks to his athletic talent, he was able to leave his neighborhood and travel the world, but he wondered why he was one of the few from his community to have this opportunity.
When he retired from his all-star NBA career, Johnson immediately dedicated his time to making sure children from hometown had the opportunity to excel. He went back to Sacramento and established the St. HOPE Foundation. The foundation focuses on helping kids get to college through community engagement, after-school programs, and quality educational opportunities in St. Hope public charter schools.
Since opening in 2003, the schools have brought students remarkable success. St. Hope’s high school has a 92 percent minority and 75 percent economically disadvantaged student population, and it has closed its achievement gap entirely.
This is the kind of opportunity that Mayor Strickland talks about when she says Washington’s Public Charter School Initiative can “enhance our public school system by adding flexibility to benefit our students and teachers.”
Join us on Thursday, October 4th to hear both mayors share powerful messages of hope for success in school and beyond. Register for this free event today!
Full Court Press – The Second Half with Kevin Johnson
Thursday, October 4th
University of Washington Tacoma
William Phillip Hall
1918 Pacific Ave., Tacoma 98402
Pre-Event Music and AV show starts at 6:30 p.m.
You can read all of Mayor Strickland’s op-ed here and hear a preview of Mayor Johnson’s inspirational message for students and community members in the video below: