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Education and Safe Homes Lead to Strong Communities

7 July 2015

Jonathan Gyurko, Ph.D., is President of Leeds Global Partners, an education services and advisory firm.  Leeds Global is an affiliate of Leeds Equity Partners, an investor in education, training, business and information services—collectively the “knowledge sector.”

Most people agree that a good system of public education is critical to the success of communities, even if they disagree on how to achieve it.  Much of my work has focused on creating effective education policies to provide the best possible education for our children. There is still much work to do, here in Connecticut where I grew up and across the country. But even the best designed, well resourced, and wisely led education systems aren't fully effective if students are sick or hungry or too tired to learn because they don't have a safe and secure place to sleep at night. 

The research is very clear that out-of-school factors—like income and housing and health—have a greater impact on a child’s educational success than the in-school factors. This doesn’t mean that schools don’t matter because they do matter, greatly. We still need great principals and teachers and school resources. But it also means that for schools to do their job well, we need to address the basic human needs, like shelter, that most of us take for granted.

Much of Leeds Equity Partners’ work focuses on education and we see an important link between education and housing. And that is why we strongly support the Partnership for Strong Communities and the Reaching Home Campaign. By working together to make sure that every child has a safe place to sleep, we will set up a foundation for better learning and improved educational outcomes, which means healthier, stronger communities. And that’s something we can all get behind.

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