Mikayla Arciaga, M.A. Ed., is IDRA’s Georgia advocacy director. She works to connect parents, students, and community members with the resources needed to engage in the state policymaking process. She leverages her experiences as a teacher, coach and mentor of young people to advocate for more diverse and inverse classrooms, that are safe and welcoming for every child and their families.
Mikayla coordinates IDRA’s Education Policy Fellows program. The 2022-23 class of fellows are gaining real-world advocacy experience and training during the Texas and Georgia legislative sessions representing advocates and communities of color. Mikayla guides the fellows as they learn about policy advocacy, 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.
While still in the classroom, Mikayla spent her summers working on school board-level policy. She collaborated with and led a team of policy fellows assisting school board members in metro Atlanta and across the country on several projects to improve outcomes for marginalized students including a line-item review of an $800 million budget, an audit of almost 200 school board policies, and an analysis of both school and state-level per-pupil expenditure data. These projects cumulated in a comprehensive strategy to increase outcomes for the most underserved students in the key areas of policy and budget.
Throughout her work at the school district level, she recognized the need for high-quality accountability processes in the public school system, which motivated her to pursue a master’s degree in program evaluation in the educational environment from the University of Florida. Mikayla’s policy interests center on culturally inclusive learning environments, accessibility for students with disabilities, and authentic engagement for parents and families. Outside of education policy, her other great love has been to make swimming accessible to learners of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. As a swim coach, she has worked to create a space focusing on sportsmanship, community, and joy, bringing home the first city championship in school history.
- Community Advocates Push Back as Georgia Legislature Targets Vulnerable Students, May 30, 2022
- War on Obscenity is Classroom Censorship on Another Front, December 16, 2021
- Priorities and Recommendations for the 2022 Georgia Legislative Session, December 14, 2021