Working to ensure equity remains the focus that drives all education policy conversations and legislation.
This past year, because of pandemic-related school closures (and cascading inequities in access to broadband and synchronous learning), children in poverty have lost almost a year of learning. This generational crisis demands corresponding action, and ERN has aggressively advocated for policies that would hold states more accountable for using recovery funds to address learning gaps and to push states toward remedial investments proven to accelerate learning. Specifically, ERN:
- Worked to persuade Congress to statutorily require states to set aside at least $28 billion (of the $122 billion in total education recovery aid) for “evidence-based” interventions to address learning loss;
- Urged the federal Education Department to require states to use recovery funds—which would specifically come from the $122 billion allotted to pandemic-recovery aid—to properly address learning gaps;
- Helped persuade the federal Education Department to issue guidance prioritizing high-impact tutoring (HIT) as a proven intervention that falls within the recovery statute’s set-aside for “evidence-based” interventions; and
- Worked with state leaders in Colorado, Louisiana, and the District of Columbia to provide HIT to over 1 million students across these three states.
ERN continues to fight to protect federal funding for public charter schools.
With coalition partners, ERN mobilized our supporters in the Senate—including several on the key committees—and persuaded the Biden Administration to seek $440 million in funding for charter schools, building on our work of well over a year to persuade the Biden team to chart a moderate course, despite aggressive efforts by charter opponents to eliminate federal charter-school funding.
We work to elevate historically silenced voices and celebrate the strengths found in diversity by supporting dynamic leadership from our marginalized communities.
Our Leaders of Color program has grown to serve 119 fellows in three cities: Memphis, New York, and New Orleans. To date:
- 37 alumni occupy positions of civic influence;
- 25 have been appointed to community or non-profit boards;
- Four have founded non-profits;
- 23 are involved in active advocacy campaigns; and
- 12 have run for elected office, with five winning their races, including two who were the first Black women to win their respective races.
Illustrative of our LOC fellows’ impact:
- Alumna Sarah Lockridge Steckel co-founded The Collective Blueprint, which recently partnered with a local organization to provide nine months of training for young adults in software engineering;
- Alumnus Will Snowden started The Juror Project to change the makeup of juries to better represent communities of color; and
- Alumnus Tim Green founded the Memphis Restorative Justice Coalition aimed at creating alternatives to suspensions for African American and Latino students.