Institute for Educational Leadership 118th Congress Federal Policy Agenda 

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) is dedicated to the vision of a society that uses all of its resources effectively to provide an equal opportunity for all children and youth to learn, develop, and become active participants of our democracy. IEL’s mission is to partner with under-resourced communities to equip leaders to better prepare children, youth, adults, and families for post-secondary education and training, rewarding careers, and civic community engagement. 

Our policy agenda is guided by the following policy principles:  

• Greater voice in decision-making particularly from families, people with disabilities, and young people  

• Prioritization of populations that have historically experienced systemic racism, discrimination, and/or disinvestment  

• Cross-Sector partnerships and collaboration that reflect the interdependent, overlapping nature of our work 

Increase Funding for Key Programs and Initiatives that Promote Equitable Learning and Job Opportunities: IEL supports federal programs that promote a high-quality, equitable education that will lead to financial security and a fulfilling career. 

  • Take the lead in growing the Full-Service Community Schools Program by advocating for the reintroduction of the Full-Service Community Schools Expansion Act (H.R. 1241/S. 385 from the 117th Congress).  
  • Support Congress to increase funding to Titles I, II, and Title IV-A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant of the Every Student Succeeds Act; IDEA Part B and C, including Preschool Grants and Grants for Infants and Toddlers; Full Service Community Schools; Promise Neighborhoods Program; Statewide Family Engagement Centers; Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers; Child Care and Development Block Grants; Head Start, and other key programs within and beyond the U.S. Department of Education that support the education and well-being of children and youth starting with preschool. 
  • Support Congress to increase funding to the Pell Grant, GEAR Up, and TRIO programs to make college more affordable and accessible. 
  • Support Congress to increase funding to the Adult Education and Family Literacy grant program, Job Corps, American Job Centers, federal apprenticeship programs, and other programs that help youth and adults earn a living wage and pursue their chosen careers. 
  • Support Congress to co-sponsor/support the Mentoring to Succeed Act (H.R. 525/S. 65) to establish school-based mentoring programs for at-risk youth focusing on social-emotional learning and skill development. 
  • Support Congress to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Act to fulfill the federal promise to provide 40 percent of the extra cost of special education.  
  • Support Congress to provide funding to equip schools with the adequate number of specialized instructional support personnel including school nurses, social workers, psychologists, and counselors, to provide the supports students need to engage in the classroom. 

Advance Policies that Address the Foundational Supports Children, Families, and Communities Need to Thrive: IEL advocates for programs and legislation that create conditions in which community members have access to equitable, foundational supports that will enable them to live, work, and attend school knowing their basic needs are met. 

  • Support Congress to co-sponsor/support the Child Care for Working Families Act (H.R. 2976/S. 1354), which increases the quality and supply of childcare and lowers childcare costs for families. 
  • Support Congress in renewing the Expanded Child Tax Credit to continue to reduce child poverty and support whole-child development by providing families with more financial resources to meet their children’s academic and health needs.  
  • Support Congress in expanding SNAP benefits to match the temporary allotments during the COVID-19 pandemic to address food insecurity. 

Promote Workforce and Leadership Opportunities for Students, Families, and Teachers in their Schools and Beyond: IEL advocates for programs and legislation that foster collaborative leadership across all sectors and creates opportunities for community members to advance in the workplace.  

  • Support Congress to increase funding for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Youth Mentoring Program that expands leadership opportunities and career pathways for underserved youth, including IEL’s RAMP program; and to increase funding for other programs that support youth mentoring. 
  • Support Congress to cosponsor/support the Youth Workforce Readiness Act (S. 454), to create a competitive grant program to support coordination of schools, businesses, out-of-school time organizations, and others to offer workforce readiness programming for youth ages 6-18. 
  • Support Congress to increase funding for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers Program to support family-school partnerships and create opportunities for parents to engage in collaborative leadership practices. 
  • Support Congress to increase funding for Title II-Part A state grants, Title II-Part B school leader recruitment and support grants, and Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) programs to provide teachers and other school staff with resources to pursue professional development and leadership opportunities. 
  • Support Congress to co-sponsor/support the American Teacher Act (H.R.882) and the Pay Teachers Act (S.766) to improve the teacher pipeline by increasing salaries, actively recruiting educators from diverse backgrounds, and updating teacher preparation programs to reflect the changing needs of today’s students in the classroom. 

Additional Advocacy Opportunities 

IEL will continue to advocate for the implementation of key programs and legislation enacted during the 117th Congress that align with our policy goals. Additionally, IEL will continue to collaborate with our national and community partners to advocate for the equitable and responsible use of federal programming dollars while also asking the 118th Congress to increase funding to these key priorities. 

  • Support the Administration in implementing the Engage Every Student initiative by becoming an ally and pledging to support expanding access to afterschool and summer programs for all children and youth. 
  • Support the Administration in promoting the use of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief and American Rescue Plan funds by school districts to advance educational equity and whole child development. 
  • Support the Administration in utilizing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, The Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant Program, and the School-Based Mental Health Services Program to address youth mental health in schools. 
  • Support the Administration in utilizing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to increase access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet access, improve access to transportation and increase mobility through investing in public transit, and creating jobs that support the 21st century economy. 
  • Support the Administration in utilizing the Inflation Reduction Act to help families better afford the cost of living, including lowering health care costs and creating clean energy jobs. 
  • Support the Administration in addressing homelessness through the Continuum of Care, Emergency Rental Assistance, and other affordable housing programs, and ensuring that children have continual access to school and transportation through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. 
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