Effective Advocacy and Policy Work
Our Field Experience Informs and Impacts State and Federal Policy Changes
The Partnership works with talented principals, teachers, nonprofit staff and community leaders who are producing outstanding results in after school, summer, health and nutrition programs. We are uniquely positioned in schools and communities, and exceptionally experienced in the policy and legislative arena.
We use real lessons learned and best practices to advocate for changes in state and federal policy that effectively benefit schools and their students, families and communities.
A Few of the Partnership's Advocacy and Policy Achievements
- Developed and helped pass California Senate Bill 638, increasing the daily funding rate for after school programs, shifting the focus of funding to covering low-income students, and increasing support for after-school programs in high schools.
- Helped preserve school Medicaid billing enabling schools to continue recovering health-related administrative costs.
- Developed and helped pass Assembly Concurrent Resolution 134, which created the State Legislative Task Force on Summer and Intersession Enrichment to study summertime needs of low-income students and make policy recommendations to the Legislature and Governor.
- Successfully advocated for changes to be made by the California Department of Education to regulations and funding opportunities impacting educators, students, and their families.
- Authored key recommendations that were included in the after school component of the No Child Left Behind reauthorization.
- Developed and helped pass, with Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Senate Bill 429 and Senate Bill 798. This significant legislation expands access to summer-learning programs in California. SB 429 was signed by Gov. Brown in Oct. 2011, and in Sept. 2010, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed SB 798 into law.
Our Advocacy and Policy Work for 2011
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Transition
Partnership for Children and Youth Executive Director Jennifer Peck began 2011 as Director of the Transition Advisory Team for Tom Torlakson, the newly-elected California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Transition Team provided strategic advice on key issues impacting California students, schools, school districts and the California Department of Education. Jennifer was responsible for ensuring that the 54-member Transition Team carried out its work in a timely, efficient and effective manner. She is also serving as an advisor to the Superintendent on after school and summer programs, as well as on community schools.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization
The Partnership continues in 2011 to lead a coalition of program providers and advocates across California and the nation promoting specific improvements to the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, the primary federal funding stream for after school, weekend and intersession programming for low-income schools. In March 2011, the Partnership was included in a small, select group of after school and expanded learning advocates to discuss 21st CCLC policy with Senator Harkin’s Education Committee staff, and we have been invited to work closely with them on developing expanded learning policy for ESEA. The Partnership also continues to work closely with House Education Committee Ranking Member George Miller on his expanded learning policy positions in the interest of strengthening 21st CCLC and related funding streams.
California Community Schools Advocacy Network (CCSAN)
In 2010 the Partnership launched CCSAN, a statewide effort to create a supportive policy environment for community schools in California. CCSAN keeps community-school administrators, collaborators and policy makers informed of and ready to act upon emerging state and federal policy issues.
Local Education Agency Medi-Cal Billing Option Advocacy
Working with Senator Loni Hancock and advocates such as the California School Health Centers Association and the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Partnership helped to correct an error in California’s application of the rules about reinvesting reimbursements from the LEA Medi-Cal Billing Option. This correction will increase California school districts’ ability to participate in the program and draw down critical federal Medicaid funds.
Senate Bill 429 (DeSaulnier)
On Oct. 8, 2011, Gov. Brown signed Senate Bill 429 into law. The Partnership worked with Senator Mark DeSaulnier on SB 429, which makes beneficial changes to the After School Education and Safety (ASES) and 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs. Specifically, SB 429 increases flexibility around the use of summer ASES and 21st CCLC supplemental grants in order to maximize student attendance and increase student learning. The bill was sponsored by Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and co-sponsored by Partnership for Children and Youth, and Children Now.
Assembly Bill 760 (Gordon)
The Partnership is working closely with Assemblyman Rich Gordon on AB 760 , which would make several improvements to the Healthy Start program. This bill is an important vehicle for educating policymakers about the importance of the community school approach—supporting schools and students through interagency partnerships. AB 760 is jointly sponsored by Partnership for Children and Youth, and the California School Health Centers Association.
Our Advocacy and Policy Work in 2010
Legislative Task Force on Summer and Intersession Enrichment
Chaired by Senator Mark DeSaulnier, and sponsored and staffed by the Partnership, the Legislative Task Force on Summer and Intersession Enrichment worked to build awareness about the lack of structured learning and enrichment opportunities for low-income children in the summertime. The Task Force convened in the fall of 2009 and again in March 2010 to hear about summer learning and obesity research and best practices, and to discuss policy options. In November 2010, the Task Force completed and submitted a set of short- and long-term policy recommendations on how to build summer learning programs to the Governor, Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Legislature.
Senate Bill 798 (DeSaulnier) Signed Into Law
Sponsored by the Partnership and authored by California Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Senate Bill 798 provides much-needed funding to summer learning programs for low-income children throughout California. Signed by Governor Schwarzenegger on September 29, 2010, SB 798 will help to optimize California’s distribution of federal 21st Century Community Learning Center dollars. The legislation sets aside 15% of future increased 21st CCLC revenue for funding summer programs.
“I’m grateful to the Partnership for Children and Youth for leading the effort to raise awareness in the Capitol about the educational and health needs of children in the summertime. Working together, we’ve managed to dedicate resources to summer-learning programs for low-income children, even in this challenging budget environment. The Partnership’s creativity, perseverance and thoughtful policy work are enormous assets to those of us in Sacramento.”
- California Senator Mark DeSaulnier
Senate Bill 1357 (Steinberg) Becomes Law
As part of a statewide coalition led by Attendance Counts and Children Now, the Partnership played a significant advocacy role in support of Senate Bill 1357, which was signed by the governor in September. SB 1357 requires the California Department of Education to track chronic absence. Such data will greatly assist community-school program providers in identifying student needs, and creating responsive program and service options.
California Community Schools Advocacy Network (CCSAN)
In the spring of 2010, the Partnership launched the California Community Schools Advocacy Network, a statewide effort to create a supportive policy environment for community schools in California. CCSAN keeps community-school administrators, collaborators and policy makers informed of and ready to act upon emerging state and federal policy issues.
Questions about advocacy and policy?
Please contact Jennifer Peck, Executive Director