To promote our three-part policy agenda, we are implementing a variety of programs:
Build public awareness and support
K-12 policy won’t change unless more Californians understand that so many of our students aren’t getting the educations they need and deserve – and that this has scary implications for our economy and our communities, as well as for the individual students. But it’s not enough just to ring the alarms. Californians also need to be informed about the power and benefits of our policy agenda. To broadcast messages about the problem and the most promising policy solutions, Student Success California takes advantage of traditional and social media.
Organize in targeted communities
In a few communities across California, Student Success California builds on our other communications efforts to support local teachers, parents and other leaders in their local advocacy campaigns. We target communities that are politically important but outside of the core urban areas where most education reform donors invest.
Use litigation to protect teacher rights
The main opposition to our policy agenda emanates from the extremely well-funded network of teacher-union leaders, including the California Teachers Association, the California Federation of Teachers, and hundreds of teacher-union staff across the state. To fund their political activities, the teacher unions rely on often-involuntary contributions from rank-and-file teachers. They bundle things that teachers want – voting rights, friendly association with other teachers, and valuable job-related benefits – with the funding of such political activities as lobbying and advocacy advertising.
If teachers want to opt out of the support for political activities, they are forced to give up union membership and all its benefits. We think this is coercive, unfair and unconstitutional. So, Student Success California is supporting a group of teachers in federal court who want to remain union members but don’t want to pay for the politics. You can learn more about the case, which is known as Bain v. CTA, at Protect Teachers’ Rights.