SAN ANTONIO – Community leaders hope to reduce stark inequity issues among students with the launch of the Future Ready Bexar County Plan.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg was joined by multiple school and nonprofit leaders on Thursday to unveil the plan, which aims to increase the percentage of Bexar County high school graduates enrolling in a post-secondary degree or credential program up to 70% by 2030.
The UP Partnership, a nonprofit that works to prepare today’s students for the future, is coordinating the plan. CEO Ryan Lugalia-Hollon said the enrollment rate is currently about 50%.
“We want to see dramatic reductions in the high school dropouts, dramatic increases in high school completion, dramatic reductions in juvenile referrals and suspensions and detentions. We want to see significant increases in youth voice. All of those goals and indicators that we’ll be tracking, they matter, and we’re going to be tracking them actively. But we want everybody’s attention focused on that 70% enrollment target,” Lugalia-Hollon said.
Inequities were impacting young people before the pandemic, he said, based on factors like their race, zip code, or household income. But the pandemic made that worse.
“We need to we need to build back better in a way that our community’s young people are no longer shaped by those inequities,” Lugalia-Hollon said.
The CEO said 50 institutions “from UTSA to Alamo Colleges to our school districts, to our nonprofits have all made specific action commitments tied to their sector that demonstrate how they’re going to advance healing, access and voice in the coming years.”