Communities for Just Schools Fund
100 M Street, S.E.
The Communities for Just Schools Fund provides grants to groups that organize young people, parents and caregivers, educators, and community members to advocate on behalf of students who are disproportionately impacted by the over-use of exclusionary school discipline practices, including suspensions, expulsions, and arrests in schools. There are far too many students who find themselves being policed and targeted for exclusion from their schools because of flawed school policies and practices and flawed perceptions of them and the communities to which they belong. Students as young as pre-school – three and four years old – are being suspended and expelled from school, often for minor misbehavior or ill-perceived behavior.
The non-profit organizations supported by CJSF are local in focus and have national impact and reach. They work in different places all over the country to eliminate harsh school discipline policies and practices that negatively affect young people every day. They organize communities to stand up for positive and supportive school climates by educating students, parents and caregivers, school officials and teachers, police departments, and community leaders on the alternatives to exclusionary school discipline methods and criminalization of young people. Some such alternatives include investing in more counselors and social workers in schools, reducing the number of police in schools, increasing the recruitment and retention of teachers of color, implementing culturally relevant pedagogical curricula and practices, and utilizing restorative justice circles.
Currently, the Communities for Just Schools Fund includes support and participation from: Arcus Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Cricket Island Foundation, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, Ford Foundation, Hyams Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Public Welfare Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Skillman Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and anonymous donors.
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