Schoolhouse Rock Around the Nation: Members Share 2019 Agendas
January 24, 2019

The extended shutdown in Washington, D.C. belies the abundance of action in states as most legislative bodies are now gaveled in. From governors to state education commissioners, there are many new faces in state capitols, sessions are well underway, and Network members are knee deep in pursuing their agendas and priorities.

From sea to shining sea, here’s an around the horn featuring some of the issues Network members are tracking:


Special education funding: League of Education Voters is working to ensure sufficient funding for students with disabilities (SWD), to improve support and preparation of educators in meeting the needs of SWD, and to better understand how SWD are being served.


Maintaining and expanding school choice: NewMexicoKidsCAN’s policy priorities have spurred action against an effort to cap charter school enrollment. New Mexico will be worth watching as many expect the state to begin rolling back recent progress on assessments and accountability.

English Language Learners: Stand for Children Arizona has spent the last four years working to improve the education of the state’s ELL students. This effort centers on providing greater flexibility at the local level in meeting state requirements for structured English immersion.

Full-Day Kindergarten: Stand for Children Colorado is tracking the new governor’s effort for statewide, fully funded kindergarten. An uphill battle is in store given competing budget priorities.


Early Childhood: Aligned is taking a lead role in efforts to expand pre-K, though disagreement remains about the potential use of state dollars on parochial or private schools.

Education Savings Accounts: Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri is tracking 15 key education bills, one of which would create the state’s first ESA program.

School Discipline: EdAllies is working to overhaul and improve how educators discipline students across Minnesota. This includes improving transparency, accountability, and parent involvement; better training; and strengthening due process.

Merit-Based Compensation: Texas Aspires believes raising teacher quality depends in part on linking teacher pay with effectiveness. Taking cues from Dallas, they will seek to pass statewide legislation to encourage districts to create more forward-looking pay structures.


Pension Reform: the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is watching eight key education topics, one of which is the highly charged issue of teacher pensions. Last year, Kentucky’s Supreme Court struck down a pension reform bill, leaving the possibility it will be revisited again this session.

Reach out to learn more about what other issues Network members are engaged on. Members can also explore who else is prioritizing similar issues in 2019 by viewing the PIE Network 2019 Member Priorities.

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    Dale Chu

    Dale is a consultant for the PIE Network and president at DC Strategies

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