To ensure equitable education policies, advocates must play a key role in state-level policymaking. IDRA seeks to change the landscape of state education advocacy by training advocates with a commitment to and/or experience with communities of color to influence state laws and lead a powerful network of impacted communities.
Applications are now open for our Georgia Education Policy Fellowship! See flier and application form.
Education policy decisions are largely made and influenced by people who do not reflect the population of Texas’ and Georgia’s 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 with experience with communities of color and is missing their important expertise.
State policymakers can make stronger education policy decisions by working with advocates who are connected to impacted communities, particularly people of color. IDRA’s fellows gain real-world advocacy experiences and training during the state’s 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 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, for example, 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 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 Education Policy Fellows 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.
Meet IDRA’s Inaugural Class of Education Policy Fellows
On November 2, 2020, IDRA began its first Education Policy Fellows Program. Five fellows will gain real-world advocacy experience and training during the 2021 Texas legislative session, because we know state policymakers can make stronger education policy decisions by working with advocates who are connected to impacted communities, particularly people of color. See announcement.
The IDRA Education Policy Fellows Program is generously supported by Trellis Foundation and in partnership with the John Gardner Public Service Fellowship, facilitated by Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service.