The City of Dayton has a New Vision to Make Education Equitable


Education is top of mind for Jeffrey J Mimms, Jr., Mayor of Dayton, OH, and Dr.  David Lawrence, Education Advisor for Dayton, OH. Mimms, a longtime educator himself with over forty years in education, is a pioneer in establishing equitable funding for public schools across Ohio. DisruptED’s Ron Stefanski and Ceasar Mickens spoke to Mimms and Lawrence about an extraordinary concept they’re championing: creating a city of learners in Dayton.

Mimms said the challenge in education today, especially in underserved areas, is getting kids engaged and excited to come to school and learn every day. Mimms listed the four A’s essential for education success: attendance, attitude, activities, and achievement. When schools provide the programs that allow students to hit the four A’s, those lessons carry through beyond school and into life. The City of Learners concept design will make education equitable and expansive throughout Dayton and allow children to achieve their goals.

“The City of Learners rests on five core principles,” Lawrence said. “Every child must attend a high-quality K-12 school. Every child must have expanded access to preschool for all children. We must grow our partnerships with businesses, recruit mentors for young children, and increase the number of high-quality summer and after-school programs.” And Lawrence knows the power of mentorship because Mimms served as his mentor, and the lessons he imparted were invaluable.

Mimms has ambitious goals for education, but they are all connected with the mission to build a better, more sustainable community. “Those communities experiencing a high quality of life have three major pillars,” Mimms said. “One is high-quality education. Two is safety. We are involved in a very strong police reform effort that we started about twelve months ago. The other thing that is a key issue is recreation. We are in the process of how we can improve the quality of recreation.” Local businesses that recognize the benefits when everyone works together for the common good bolster these efforts.

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