Parents are essential stakeholders who are an important part of building high-quality, equitable schools that are aligned to community needs.

However, too often parents from low-income backgrounds and those of color don’t have opportunities to contribute their knowledge in critical education policy decisions. This school year, however, parent voice is more important than ever.

New York school districts are set to receive an unprecedented amount of federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and other state allocations. This historic funding provides an opportunity for state and district education leaders to address longstanding inequities in the education system as well as inequities that have been exacerbated by the current pandemic.

It is critical that parents have a say in how funding is invested and a platform to advocate for what is best for their community.

What is the lab?

The Education Trust–New York designed the Parent Advocate Policy Lab to expand parent leaders’ knowledge of new funding sources and to support their advocacy efforts. Parent advocates will help to ensure local education leaders invest funding in ways that meet the needs of all learners — especially those most impacted by the pandemic.

Throughout the 10-month fellowship, parents will develop skills in policy writing, power mapping, and advocacy strategies to help advance education equity. Working collaboratively with a statewide cohort of leaders, parents will also broaden their understanding of the statewide educational landscape and develop new ideas of how new resources can be used in their respective districts.  

Parent advocates will receive a $1,000 stipend for their participation in the lab.

Who are you?

The Parent Advocate Policy Lab aims to support parents of current middle and high school students who are active community leaders. If you participate in your local parent association, organize groups or advocate locally for issues related to education — this lab is for you. Our ideal candidate is passionate about making systemic change in their community through education. 

Want to participate?

To ensure there’s a diverse geographic representation in our inaugural Parent Advocate Policy Lab, we’ve extended the deadline to September 14th for candidates outside of the Buffalo, Rochester, and New York City regions. Apply here.

Please contact Kalima Johnson, Associate Director of Advocacy and Partnerships, at [email protected] if you have any questions. 

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