EVERY. STUDENT. PREPARED. INVESTING IN THE WORKFORCE OF TOMORROW

Aligned is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of business leaders committed to improving education in Kansas and Missouri.

40% of 4th graders aren’t proficient in reading
Missouri is behind the national average in educational attainment
47% of Kansas Graduates leave the state

Early learning, K-12, and higher education have traditionally operated in siloed systems. 

Reforming systems requires a strategic approach that tasks business and community leaders, educators, and policymakers with improving education at every entry point.

Aligned understands that transformation takes time. Therefore, we approach our work with patience and persistence and embrace the fruits of incremental change. We share our successes and celebrate wins each year with our community. We are confident that our vision of β€˜Every. Student. Prepared.’ is achievable with continued support from our community.

 

Timeline
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Symposium
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Full funding
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Pre-K Student A
2012
Aligned (formerly ACE) officially forms and sponsors Early Learning Symposium in Kansas City.
2013
Advocated for full funding of the Children's Initiative Fund (CIF) in KS and the Early Childhood Development, Education and Care Fund (ECDEC) in MO.
2014
Passed legislation to add Pre-K funding framework to foundation formula in MO.
2015
Launched Raise Your Hand for Kids, a statewide ballot initiative to secure funding for early care and education in MO.
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Tech teacher
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Home visiting
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Champion
2016
Championed legislation tthat ended the ban on quality rating systems for early learning programs and established the Quality Assurance Report (QAR) in MO. Protected the CIF from liquidation in KS.
2017
Supported reauthorization of Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) and universal Kindergarten in KS.
2018
Fought to fully fund schools in MO, which triggered dollars for Pre-K, extended the sunset for the QAR, championed legislation to create the Visiting Scholars teacher certification, and helped pass an education workforce package in MO.
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Black toddler
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Girl looks up
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Two toddlers play
2019
Enabled state funding for Pre-K programs, advocated for $6.5M in home visitation funds in MO, secured funding for Wyandotte County ECE pilot & championed legislation for Dual Credit Certification and college course access for HS students in KS.
2020
Served on the ZERO TO THREE’s Building Strong Foundations for Families state technical assistance team to study early childhood administration in MO.
2021
Supported the Governor's Executive Order to create the Office of Childhood and educated lawmakers on the issue. Passed the Kansas Promise Scholarship, ACT/WorkKeys Expansion statewide in KS.
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High school students in lab
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2 young boys reading
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Teacher sitting at a table with students
2022
Worked to pass the Competency-Based Credit Taskforce and pilot fund and expanded Visiting Scholars in MO. Led the effort to pass Work Based Learning Insurance coverage for schools and expanded transportation options for districts in KS.
2023
Led effort to pass $82M in additional early learning funding for school districts and childcare providers in MO. Worked to pass the expansion of the Kansas Promise Scholarship Act.
2024
Advocated for the inclusion of language into a sweeping education reform bill that doubled the state investment in Pre-K and the created of a differentiated pay program to address teacher recruitment and retention in MO.