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State Law Resources Group, Inc. Annual Conference May 2–4, 2013 1.

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Presentation on theme: "State Law Resources Group, Inc. Annual Conference May 2–4, 2013 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 State Law Resources Group, Inc. Annual Conference May 2–4, 2013 1

2 About Us 2 StudentsFirst is a national advocacy organization working to to put the laws and policies in place that ensure every child receives a high-quality public education. We work with our two million members to advocate for school systems that put students first by elevating the teaching profession, providing families with quality school choices and using resources wisely. OUR MODEL HAS TRACTION In the past two years, StudentsFirst, led by founder and CEO Michelle Rhee, has helped pass over 100 policies across 18 states, dramatically changing the way more than 23 million children will receive their public education. We have changed the political landscape when it comes to education by helping to elect 135 pro-reform leaders and successfully protecting and expanding reform by helping with ballot initiatives in Michigan, Ohio and Georgia. Lawmakers can now rely on StudentsFirst to provide the financial resources necessary to protect their pro-reform voice, the strength of two million education voters nationwide and the information they need to put students first.

3 Our Focus 3 We know the problem. Every student has the potential to achieve at high levels. Moreover, there is no shortage of effective, innovative, and dedicated educators and schools in America. The problem is the bureaucratic environment that these educators and schools operate in Is antiquated, adult-focused, and stifles innovation. We know what works. Using a research-based and commonsense approach, StudentsFirst has identified the biggest levers to unleashing the potential of students and innovators to succeed. OUR POLICY PILLARS

4 Our Approach and Record 4 BUILDING AND ACTIVATING MEMBERSHIP StudentsFirst is a massive movement of more than 2,000,000 parents, teachers, students and everyday citizens. We’ve worked hard to build our membership because we know that in order to pass laws, we need constituents to put pressure on their elected leaders AGGRESSIVE AND STRATEGIC LOBBYING Student-centered policies must be translated into new laws and regulations. This requires a tough-minded approach to legislatures. StudentsFirst and our members have become a significant presence felt in state-houses across the country. COMMUNICATIONS StudentsFirst is driving the national conversation about education reform. We have a distinct ability to be the chief voice for aggressive education reform through earned and paid media. SUPPORTING COURAGEOUS REFORMERS ELECTORALLY AND OPPOSING ANTI-REFORMERS We are changing the political calculus around education reform. Lawmakers can stand up for student interests knowing StudentsFirst and its members will provide the financial and grassroots support needed to defend against those who support the status quo.

5 Our Policies 5 STUDENTSFIRST POLICY AGENDA There is no silver bullet to fixing our education system. However, the last twenty years of research and experience have taught us that the policies that govern how we educate our children matter. Great schools require the right policies that put the interests of students first and drive student achievement. The StudentsFirst Policy Agenda articulates the 37 most powerful levers for transforming public education across three pillars: Elevating the Teaching Profession Empowering Parents with Real Choices Spending Taxpayers’ Money Wisely TRACK RECORD Over the last two years, our Policy Agenda has been translated into more than 100 new policies governing the education of 23 million children.

6 Mission Our mission is to build a national movement to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform, so that America has the best education system in the world. –Active in 18 states. –Passed 68 policies in 2011. –Passed 45 policies in 2012. –Supported ballot initiatives in Michigan, Ohio and Georgia. 6

7 StudentsFirst Entities StudentsFirst (c4) StudentsFirst Institute (c3) StudentsFirstNewYork (c4) Great New England Public Schools Alliance (c4) Teacher Quality Matters Advocacy Inc. (c4) 7 registered PACs 7

8 Lobbying Activity 8 Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee

9 Lobbying Activity StudentsFirst is a registered lobbyist in our 18 active states and regularly lobbies on the legislative and executive level. The legal team regularly advises our legislative staff on compliance items such as gift restrictions and permissible activities in each respective state. 9

10 Campaign Finance Activity California Georgia (PAC & IE) Michigan New York (PAC & IE) Pennsylvania Tennessee 10

11 Campaign Finance Activity StudentsFirst engages in two types of campaign finance activity: –Direct Contributions Contributions to state legislative candidates and party committees, and in some cases local candidates, to the extent permitted by state law –Independent Expenditure Activity Independent expenditure activity in support or opposition to state legislative candidates and in some cases local candidates, to the extent permitted by state law This activity is done through our C4 entity and our state specific PACs based on the limitations of campaign finance law in each state The legal team regularly advises our electoral staff on compliance issues related to state campaign finance law. 11

12 Government Affairs/Legal Representation StudentsFirst works with its national legal team on our overall legal strategy StudentsFirst also needs state-specific legal advice in certain instances on lobbying and campaign finance issues 12

13 Contact Information Angelia Dickens, General Counsel ( 916.287.9204 13

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