As 2019 approaches, advocates across the Network are gearing up to build on past successes, tackle new challenges, and defend prior advances. In many states, they will also be navigating significant turnover among state-level leadership.
This year, 68 leading advocacy organizations in 30 states and Washington, D.C. identified their areas of focus for the year ahead in the annual PIE Network Member Priorities Survey. Advocates shared plans to pursue key goals through legislative activity, implementation support, and local campaigns, among other avenues. Though some initiatives might move to the backburner in response to issues introduced by other stakeholders, the below findings represent members’ priorities as the opening bells of legislative sessions sound.
- Accountability & Transparency
- School Choice
- College & Career Readiness
- Early Learning
- Educator Policy
- Emerging Issues & More
- Governance & Elections
- School Finance
- Standards & Assessment
Findings: A Preview of 2019
Once again, more Network advocates are planning efforts to support teachers and principals than on any other issue in 2019. At least 37 organizations will seek to strengthen teacher prep, increase compensation and career ladders, and advance other educator policies, via legislative changes, implementation work, and educator engagement initiatives.
College & Career Readiness
Activity around preparing students for college and career continues to swell within the Network. In addition to advancing policies to improve access to advanced coursework, advocates will pursue connections between industry and education in 2019. 35 organizations are prioritizing this issue in 2019.
Charters & Choice
Work around charter schools continues to expand within the Network, increasing by more than 60 percent since last year, while work on issues concerning school choice has taken a slight dip. Across both issues, access to high-quality seats continues to be a concern and advocates will be seeking to expand both sectors. More equitable funding continues to be a priority of those who are focusing solely on charter schools. 28 members are prioritizing charter school issues while 11 are prioritizing school choice.
Members continue to fight for changes to the funding formulas that will distribute money in more equitable means, particularly to schools that primarily serve low-income students. In addition to reworking how the state distributes dollars, advocates in certain states will work to increase education spending. 29 members are prioritizing this issue, with many more keeping an eye on the issue in case it picks up steam.
Accountability & Transparency
With ESSA plans on the books, members are focusing on defending and improving their current accountability systems and increasing transparency of their systems. 18 organizations are prioritizing this issue in 2019.
Looking for additional trends across the Network? Check out the complete 2019 Priority Survey Brief.