December 2012 Government Relations Update

Arc and Education Policy Arc’s expertise in education is widely recognized with policy makers as well as business leaders. Arc’s strong relationships allow for successful advocacy at the federal and state levels.  If you want to optimize your government relations strategy for selling education products at the national level or into the Florida market, contact us.

2012 Election and Education Reform Following the conclusion of the 2012 election, much divide remains in the area of education reform. Ballot initiatives across states, as summarized here, did not really point to a clear shift one way or another across the country.  In Indiana, for example, the teachers’ union came together with more conservative allies to defeat an aggressive reformer, Republican incumbent state superintendent Tony Bennett, electing Democratic challenger Glenda Ritz.  At the federal level, with the re-election of President Obama, a continuation of Race to the Top policies are to be expected, but with the control of Congress split between parties and economic challenges remaining at the forefront, sweeping education changes are unlikely in the near future.

Moving Away from Print Textbooks During an October 2 speech at the National Press Club, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan expressed his belief that printed textbooks should be moved away from in the coming years, citing Mooresville Graded School District as one example. More information can be found on the American Education Publishers blog. Secretary Duncan’s prepared remarks can be found here.

California Higher Education Going Digital Earlier this fall, Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills, SB1052 and SB1053, which call for developing  “50 high-quality, affordable, digital open source textbooks and related material” that will be accessible by public universities and community colleges in the state.  The American Association of Publishers has raised issues about the concept of free college textbooks. EdSurge has more details on the initiative.