We pool our funds, then we appropriate
In the 2018 cycle, we made contributions to more than 70 candidates seeking to serve in office across 11 different states, each made with a clear message that we work in support of equity and excellence in education for every child:
Resources to learn more:
Download an Overview HERE
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FEC profile for Allies for Educational Equity HERE
Allies for Educational Equity's Giving Principles:
We are playing the long game: We know that political activity is more than a single office, single election, or single candidate. With that in mind, we know it is unlikely that a single PAC check will change the course of any one election. And, while our network may choose to show up en masse for a champion beyond a check from Allies for Educational Equity, our pooled funds demonstrates for the recipient our awareness and commitment as a collective force for kids.
Non-usual suspect, wide over deep: To deliver on the promises to children and families we seek in classrooms and schools everywhere, and correct the false narratives of the politics of education, sometimes we must show up in "non usual suspect" places. Doing so will seed future opportunities and will bolster impact with office holders who may not yet be familiar with our work, while also supporting our peers they endeavor to drive outcomes, often without fanfare. We believe that some support across many places will be powerful.
We will take our own seat at the table: Though we may be on the right side of history for kids and families, not everyone is with us yet. We'll get them there by having the opportunity to make modest contributions to those in agenda-setting positions, thereby demanding our own seat at the table.
We augment others’ impact: We know we can’t substitute the volume of dollars that the large donor community can contribute- or that those who are opposed to changes to the status quo can pull in. We have peers doing great work in advocacy and politics already in key pockets of the country, so our support should be an additional resource to them while a new resource where that muscle may not yet be developed. We always seek to augment and strengthen our peers' work across the country, only supplementing efforts where we agree it will be meaningful.
Allies supporting Allies: We may make political contributions on our own already, but we're locking arms together as part of this national network of peers to demonstrate our collective power and commitment. Just like immigrant communities pool support to enable each to gain footing in a new country, we each take a turn to support another. What we each modestly contribute comes back.
1. What is a PAC?
PACs allow citizens to pool personal, voluntary financial contributions that have a giving limit (a Federal PAC has a $5,000 annual giving limit)
2. My money is a drop in the bucket compared with philanthropists, and I already give my all to this work daily. What difference will my [$100-5,000] make?
Contribution limits for PACs ensure that no single contributor can have an outsized influence, and the transparency that direct giving brings makes each dollar worth more. The big, unlimited, dollars in political giving are generally on the “soft” side, which are anonymous. Our pooled, and transparently reported, contributions from many donors puts us on the record, sending a powerful message that adults who do the work also back it up voluntarily with our own dollars.
2. I don’t think I can give politically because of my work.
You are giving as an individual, not because of or as part of your job (even if you work for a 501c3). The Federal Elections Commission prohibits certain political contributions subject to conflicts of interest, which generally apply to business interests (e.g. those who work in finance). Any specific concerns can be clarified by reviewing the FEC’s Quick Answers to General Questions or by checking with your employer’s compliance attorney.
3. I’m not a [charter-only] person / Ed reform isn’t only about [charters]
Choice and accountability are the cornerstones of increasing both quality and access, to ensure adults’ feet are held to the fire to deliver on promises to children. We must demand accountability for all kids in all schools and we must fight for the growth of great charters as well, especially in circumstances where families lack mobility and in places where families lack quality options. Both and. In other words (h/t to the PIENet for these):
Support for measurement-based system accountability for performance against high standards;
Belief that differentiation of teacher performance should be based in part on student growth;
Commitment to ensuring real timely choices for families, including charters and other innovative options.
4. I don’t want my $ going to [a Republican / a Democrat / anyone anti-X / anyone pro-Y]
We get it. Many of us are passionately partisan, and we encourage leaning into all forms of civic engagement (voting in all elections is top priority). As individuals, we will vote, and give, influenced by our unique values, which are informed by our policy priorities. Otherwise, we need Allies for Educational Equity to stand up for the power of knowledge and the potential of every child, no matter who or what party is in office.