Full Job Description
About IDEA Public Schools:
At IDEA Public Schools, we believe in college for ALL and we are committed to ensuring that all our students graduate from college. IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school to the fastest-growing network of tuition-free Pre-K-12 public charter schools in the United States sending 100% of our students to college. 50% of our students graduate from college in 6 years – that’s 8 times the national rate for students in our communities!
IDEA was founded in 2000 as a single school with 150 students in the Rio Grande Valley. When interest exceeded building capacity, to meet the demands, IDEA’s co-founders committed to serving more students in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and beyond. We now serve over 65,000 students across Texas and Louisiana. Be on the lookout for IDEA schools opening near you—with continued growth in our current regions and new launches in Tampa Bay, FL (2021), Jacksonville, FL (2022), and Cincinnati, OH (2022)!
When you choose to work at IDEA, you are part of our IDEA Team and Family. You will work alongside team members who set and reach ambitious goals every day, are excited to continue to grow with IDEA, and work relentlessly to make college for all a reality.
To learn more about IDEA, check out this video.
Role Mission: The Vice President of Policy and Advocacy will lead all aspects of federal and state advocacy, policy platform development, and advocacy coalition building for IDEA Public Schools, while serving as a key advisor to the CEO and senior leadership team. S/he will be responsible for the design and implementation of a multi-year advocacy strategy to increase the capacity of IDEA Public Schools’ stakeholders - families, staff, alumni, and supporters - around the country to effect positive change and create a more equitable public education system for all children.
This role may be located in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, or Washington, DC, and requires travels 2-3 days per month.
1. Policy Advocacy: Develop short- and long-term policy priorities, advocacy strategy, and federal and state advocacy initiatives in order to achieve IDEA’s organizational goals and a more equitable public education system for all children.
Collaborate with and coordinate across divisions and teams to identify annual or bi-annual legislative policy agendas for each state in which IDEA has a presence
Build a robust federal and multi-state advocacy shop that leverages data and research to inform and educate lawmakers and the public about IDEA Public Schools and public charter schools
Build positive relationships between IDEA Advocacy staff/stakeholders and key legislators
Lead IDEA’s communication with elected officials and state education agencies related to policy and regulatory matters
Develop content for IDEA’s external communications related to policy, e.g. op-eds and press releases
Lead and develop content for internal communications related to IDEA’s policy priorities
Prepare IDEA stakeholders to provide public testimony on behalf of the organization for key legislative hearings
2. Coalition Building: Build strategic partnerships with key education stakeholders, including civil rights groups, think tanks, education advocacy organizations, foundations, and associations in order to achieve shared policy and advocacy goals.
Determine shared priorities between IDEA Public Schools’ stakeholders and aligned organizations and opportunities for collaboration
Lead national communication in partnership with the CEO and Sr. VP of Marketing, Communications, and Enrollment in support of policy priorities
Represent IDEA Public Schools externally in meetings with current and potential partners
3. Advocacy Program Management: Build and manage a high-performing team to execute IDEA’s grassroots and stakeholder engagement programs and achieve 100% of annual goals, resulting in at least 24 annual advocacy events; 60 legislative meetings; and 4,000 digital advocacy actions by end of year.
Coach and manage Assistant Director of Advocacy - Texas (who manages a Family Organizer and Graduate Intern) to work autonomously to achieve annual goals
Develop long-term vision for Advocacy organizational chart, determining gaps, building candidate profiles, and managing hiring to achieve organizational advocacy goals
4. Advocacy Communications: Shape the public narrative about IDEA Public Schools among policymakers and influencers at the state and national level, resulting in at least XX pieces of earned media, and increased level of knowledge of IDEA’s results and support for public charter schools among policymakers.
Develop content for IDEA’s external communications related to policy and advocacy, e.g. social media campaigns, op-eds, and press statements
Partner with internal data and research staff and external research organizations to analyze IDEA’s programs and results in policy briefs and white papers
Generate awareness of IDEA’s unique approach in the education policy and research community
Serve as a key strategic advisor to the CEO and Chief Advancement Officer with regard to policy and advocacy communications and government relations
5. Live Values of IDEA:
Reflect commitment to IDEA mission: that all students are capable of getting to and through college
Drive toward outcomes and results; seek accountability for results
Model a bias toward action; be willing to make mistakes in order to learn and improve quickly
Work with an entrepreneurial mindset; embrace growth and change
Seek out and respond well to feedback, which is shared often and freely across all levels of the organization
Work through silos and build strong cross-departmental relationships in order to achieve outcomes
Embody IDEA’s core values
Management of an advocacy team of 3 (Assistant Director of Advocacy; Family Organizer; Graduate Intern). This team will be expanded based on the VP of Policy and Advocacy’s vision for achieving ambitious advocacy goals along with input from the Chief Advancement Officer and CEO.
Ability to build relationships with members of both political parties
Writing and public speaking ability
Knowledge of school leader and system leader perspectives
Bachelor’s Degree required
6+ years’ experience in education policy or advocacy work
1+ years’ teaching experience or experience working in a school environment (preferred)
Knowledge and Skills:
An understanding of key leaders and elected officials in the education reform movement nationwide
Knowledge of PK-12 and higher education policy and legislation affecting public charter school students, alumni, families, teachers, and staff
Knowledge of state education agencies and their impact on statewide policymaking