Members Share Priorities, Insights & Challenges
This year, 59 leading advocacy organizations from 31 states and Washington, D.C. identified their areas of focus for the year ahead in the annual PIE Network Priority Survey.
During session, advocates both drive their priorities and respond to issues introduced by others.
Therefore, priorities might move to the back burner in any given year if it becomes clear a defensive strategy must become an organization’s priority. However, as the opening bell of legislative session sounds, members are prioritizing these issues.
- Accountability & Transparency
- College & Career Readiness
- Early Learning
- Educator Policy
- School Finance
- Standards & Assessment
Findings: A Preview of 2018
ACCOUNTABILITY UNDER ESSA REMAINS A TOP FOCUS
In 2018, many state advocates will work to implement and defend accountability systems put in place under ESSA. Nearly half of the responding participants—44 organizations in 26 states—said it is a high priority, and nearly every organization said they were at least watching the issue.
SCHOOL FINANCE ADVOCACY INTENSIFIES
Members are taking advantage of opportunities created by stable economies, improved transparency, and increased litigation on equitable school funding systems to active engage on school funding reform. Network advocates are working to shift their outdated formulas to more student-centric and equitable systems, while also providing transparency on school-site expenditures. Twenty organizations said this issue was a high priority for their upcoming year and 38 members in 24 states are planning to engage on the issue.
FOCUS ON COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS INCREASES
Compared to recent years, this issue has increased as a priority. Members engaged on this issue are advancing a suite of policy options to provide students with rigorous course options, including dual credit, advanced coursework, and laying the tracks for career pathways programs. Thirty-six members in 20 states said they plan to engage with college and career readiness issues.
EXPANSION AND DEFENSE OF CHARTERS CONTINUES
Similar to previous years, many charter advocates seek to expand charter school options in their state through more equitable systems—including fairer funding mechanisms and improved access to facilities and transportation—while simultaneously defending charter school systems against attacks. 28 members in 18 states said they plan to engage with charter issues.
EDUCATOR POLICY REMAINS A CONSISTENT PRIORITY
Members consistently engage on this issue, continuing their work to improve educator quality by changing licensure structures, seeking to improve equity of teacher distribution, and diversifying the field. Only four organizations (7 percent) said this issue was not a priority at all.
SCHOOL CHOICE ENGAGEMENT REMAINS STEADY
School choice continues to be an area of the Network where members respectfully agree to disagree, even as many members are engaged on the issue. Those who plan to engage on the issue will be working to create robust and innovative programs, expand existing programs to accommodate more students, or play defense against opponent attacks. Twenty-four organizations in 18 states said they plan to engage with this issue.
Looking for additional trends across the Network? Check out the complete 2018 Priority Survey Brief.