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Donors’ Education Collaborative (DEC) welcomes new members for 2015. 

For nearly 20 years, DEC has brought funders together to support efforts to improve the New York City public school system for all of its students.  With 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools, New York City’s public school system is the largest district in the United States.  Nearly every New Yorker has a stake in the public schools, and the system’s innovations, successes, and failures are watched closely throughout the country.  Improving the schools is a daunting task, but DEC provides a way for funders to face that challenge together.  By pooling funds, drawing on our members’ and staff’s expertise in education, making grants collaboratively, and supporting strategic policy initiatives, DEC has changed the education landscape for the better.  If you are a funder interested in New York, its citizens, and its schools, we hope you’ll consider joining us. 

 “Learning by doing is different than learning by listening, and DEC is a great learning community.”  – Steven Aresty, Catherine and Joseph Aresty Foundation

“Our foundation makes grants to those who work directly with disadvantaged students, but we saw that our grantees’ good work was hampered by system-wide problems.  We joined DEC to leverage our modest funds and support advocacy for better policies.  In addition, I’ve been able to participate in rich and nuanced discussions with people who are as passionate about education as I am.”  – Judy Bigelow, Fordham Street Foundation

“The Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation’s participation in DEC is a way of honoring our founders’ ties to New York and its citizens.  If you live or do business in New York City, an investment in efforts to strengthen New York City’s public schools is an investment in the future we share.”  – Lauren Katzowitz Shenfield, Philanthropy Advisors, LLC. 

The Donors’ Education Collaborative (DEC), a fund in The New York Community Trust, welcomes new members for 2015.  Current members are:  Catherine and Joseph Aresty Foundation • The Atlantic Philanthropies • The Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation • Booth Ferris Foundation • Robert Sterling Clark Foundation • Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation • The Ford Foundation • Fordham Street Foundation • Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation • The New York Community Trust • The NoVo Foundation • Schott Foundation for Public Education • Trinity Wall Street Grants Program

For more information, please visit DEC’s homepage or contact us:      
Shawn V. Morehead
DEC Co-Chair
The New York Community Trust
212-686-0010 ext. 557

Nicole Rodriguez Leach
DEC Co-Chair
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation

Gisela Alvarez, Esq.
DEC Coordinator

About the Donors’ Education Collaborative (DEC)
A funder collaborative in the New York Community Trust

DEC is dedicated to the improvement of New York City’s public schools through system-wide policy reform.  Since 1995, its members have pooled funds and made grants collaboratively.  DEC is chaired by funders and staffed by a coordinator, and it has a long history and deep expertise in education policy.  

DEC supports advocacy to advance equity, opportunity, and excellence for all students—including those facing the greatest challenges.  Its members believe that effective and lasting reform is grounded in research and carried out in partnership with parents, students, educators, and community members.  With this grant-making strategy and an understanding that sustainable change takes time, DEC’s investments over the years have changed the educational landscape in New York:
  • The A+ NYC Coalition worked with diverse communities to develop and advocate for an education policy platform during the 2012 and 2013 mayoral campaign. Many recommendations were adopted by the de Blasio Administration, such as expanding pre-kindergarten and afterschool programs, creating more community schools, reforming school discipline and policing, and strengthening school-parent-community partnerships.
  • Networks such as the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice have organized and engaged low-income parents of color, immigrant families, and students in education reform. These groups are now regular participants in policy discussions. The coalition’s most recent accomplishment is a renewed commitment to parent engagement by the Department of Education.    
  • After years of DEC-funded advocacy by the Alliance for Quality Education and the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, New York State enacted a number of reforms in its State Education Budget and Reform Act of 2007, including a large increase in operating aid to schools across the state, and a more equitable funding formula for school aid, based on student need.  
  • The Dignity in Schools Campaign—NY won revisions to the City’s School Discipline Code, reducing the emphasis on automatic suspension while increasing help for struggling students.  Suspensions decreased by 23 percent in the first year.

DEC’s vision for education reform in 2014

In late 2013, DEC invited proposals for projects to advocate for system-wide policies to increase equity, excellence, and collaboration among key groups in the City public school system.  In 2014, DEC awarded grants to:  Advocates for Children of New York • Alliance for Quality Education • Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund / New York Appleseed • Brooklyn Movement Center • Dignity in Schools – New York, led by the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative • Make the Road New York • New Settlement Apartments – Parent Action Committee • NYC Coalition for Educational Justice • New York Civil Liberties Union • TASC (The After-School Corporation) with the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, Generation Schools Network, and the National Center on Time and Learning • The New School’s Center for New York City Affairs.  

For more details about these grants, read the press release available at:  

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The New York Community Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.