To ensure equitable education policies, advocates of color must play a key role in state-level policymaking. IDRA seeks to change the landscape of state education advocacy by training advocates of color to influence state laws and lead a powerful network of impacted communities.
Education policy decisions are largely made and influenced by people who do not reflect the population of Texas’ K-12 schools or institutions of higher education, the majority of whom are students of color. The state-level advocacy community has not adequately provided space to advocates of color and the communities to which they are connected and is missing their important expertise.
State policymakers can make stronger education policy decisions by working with advocates of color – particularly Black and Latino advocates – who are connected to impacted communities. IDRA’s fellows will gain real-world advocacy experiences and training during the Texas legislative session, work with coalitions, students and families to craft a community-centered education policy agenda, and join a network of advocates and policy influencers focused on improving racial equity in education policymaking spaces.
For an analysis of how advocates of color could have a greater impact on policymaking, read Skin in the Game: The 86th Texas Legislative Session and Advocate Diversity by Morgan Craven, J.D., IDRA’s National Director of Policy, Advocacy and Community Engagement.
This is Why
Each Texas legislative session features debates over bills that target or fail to adequately protect the rights of people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people and many others. Here are a few examples.
- Senate Bill 1663 attempted to protect Confederate monuments by making it more difficult for them to be removed from the public.
- Portions of Senate Bill 11 increased funding for school-based police officer programs despite evidence that school policing unfairly targets Black and Latino students for arrests, citations and use of force.
- House Bill 3 (the school finance bill) increased resources for many educational programs but failed to address glaring funding differences between rich and poor school districts and did not increase funding for most English learners.
- Senate Bill 4 forces local law enforcement agencies and other government agencies, including colleges and universities, to help enforce federal immigration law by targeting immigrants (and people they racially profile as immigrants) to the detriment of community safety.
- Senate Bill 6 targeted transgender people, including students of color, by attempting to block their access to the public facilities, like bathrooms, that matched their gender identity.
- Senate Bill 3 attempted to establish voucher-like programs that would funnel critical public funds away from public schools into the hands of individual families and private schools.
How You Can Help
To support IDRA’s Policy Fellows of Color program, or to sponsor a fellow, please click the Donate button below or contact Morgan Craven, J.D., IDRA’s National Director of Policy, Advocacy and Community Engagement.
Use the button or link to PayPal here.
Interested in becoming an IDRA Policy Fellow?
If you are a person of color interested in a career in education policy you should apply for IDRA’s Education Policy Fellows of Color Program! See our Call for Fellows flier and the application form. Contact Morgan Craven, J.D., for questions. If selected for second-round consideration, you will receive application materials and an interview request.
Our inaugural cohort of fellows will receive real-world training on advancing an educational equity agenda and will work to protect students of color during the 2021 Texas legislative session. Fellowship includes:
- Training in the Texas legislative process, including how to employ a variety of advocacy strategies;
- Access to a network of educational equity advocates who have influenced generations of policy and litigation in Texas;
- Real-time, real-world training during the Texas legislative session;
- At least one policy mentor, based on fellows’ interests;
- Training in IDRA’s family leadership in education framework, which centers families and students in educational policy reform;
- Access to statewide coalitions of advocates;
- Experience building an advocacy campaign to advance an educational equity agenda; and
- $40,000 stipend plus healthcare benefit.
- Person of color
- Committed to a full-time fellowship between November 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021
- Live in Austin or be able to quickly travel to Austin from elsewhere in Texas during the Texas legislative session (between January 2021 and June 2021)
- Demonstrated interest in educational equity, through personal and/or professional experiences
- Committed to expanding access to excellent pre-K-12 and postsecondary educational opportunities for Texas students, particularly students of color, immigrant students, students from families with limited incomes, and other historically marginalized groups.
Submit the following to Morgan Craven, J.D.:
- Completed application form
- Cover letter
- Curriculum vita or resumé
- One letter of recommendation plus two other references