We always strive to build our campaigns out in the open with clear public goals, strategies and tactics. By honestly reporting each year on how we have done, we hope that you will help hold us to high standards and increase the odds that over time we will secure the transformative changes our kids deserve.
In January, each of the seven state CANs announced their policy goals for the year. In July, we provided a midyear update on our progress towards these goals for the four states that had concluded their legislative sessions. In this fall update of the year we are happy to be able to report on the progress of our local leaders in three additional states: North Carolina, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
This stoplight indicates a green light for an advocacy win, a yellow light for significant progress made and a red light for an advocacy loss. Read on to see what our inspiring local leaders have accomplished!
Improve teacher compensation to recruit, reward and retain excellent teachers and extend their reach to more students.
CarolinaCAN continued the momentum from last year’s historic $282 million pay increase for teachers with this victory in the Tar Heel State, which increased the starting salary for all teachers from $33,000 to $35,000 per year.
Implement meaningful financial literacy course requirements.
CarolinaCAN spearheaded a bill supporting a financial literacy pilot program for students. While it was passed out of the House 111-1, it was ultimately not included in the final budget for 2016.
Give parents access to better schools through an intradistrict open enrollment policy.
Throughout the legislative session, CarolinaCAN tirelessly advocated for a new open enrollment pilot program, but the language was not included in the final budget bill that was signed by the Governor.
Successfully implement Common Core State Standards and assessments.
Building upon JerseyCAN’s work over the past two years in the Garden State, Common Core and the PARCC assessments were successfully defended in the 2015 school year.
Support the growth of high-quality schools in Camden.
JerseyCAN championed the growth of high-quality schools in Camden in partnership with local leaders. A record 2,200 students enrolled in renaissance schools for the 2015-16 school year, a 282% increase from 575 students last year.
Strengthen the charter school law to grow the number of high-quality schools.
JerseyCAN successfully advocated for some improvements in charter facilities policy and worked with partners to fend off a bill that would create a moratorium on charter school growth but more work remains. The JerseyCAN team will continue to advocate for charter policy improvements during their 2016 campaign.
Repeal the residency requirement.
JerseyCAN worked with key partners to identify legislative and administrative opportunities to repeal the state’s residency requirement, but could ultimately not find a path forward in 2015.
Protect excellent teachers by reforming seniority-based layoffs and teacher tenure.
PennCAN worked with lawmakers and coalition partners to help draft and advocate for the Protect Excellent Teachers Act. Thanks to the leadership of prime sponsor Rep. Bloom and House Education Committee Chairman Rep. Saylor, the bill made it out of the House, and is now awaiting action in the Senate.
Ensure all students have sufficient resources by adopting an adequate and equitable school funding formula.
PennCAN has worked alongside 40+ organizations as part of the Campaign for Fair Education Funding to advocate for the adoption of a new funding formula in the Keystone State. The bipartisan funding commission designed a formula that addresses most of our priorities, but it is still being negotiated as part of a final agreement with this year’s budget.
Increase accountability by creating a statewide entity to intervene in the lowest-performing schools.
PennCAN worked with coalition partners to spearhead the achievement school district movement in Pennsylvania, including publishing a comprehensive issue brief, securing testimony for a Senate hearing, and working with prime sponsor and Senate Education Committee Chairman Senator Smucker to garner support. The bill is currently through the Senate, and is being negotiated as part of the final budget agreement.