Lobby for policies that improve education outcomes for students in Los Angeles and across the country
- Legislative Strategy
- Media Relations
- Congressional Engagement
The Raben Group’s insights into the inner working of Washington has been fundamental to our successful federal policy strategy on behalf of the children and families of Los Angeles. Their relationships inside and outside the Beltway are invaluable, and they are always respectful, kind, and committed partners in furthering our work.
– Steve Zimmer, Los Angeles Unified School District Board President
As the second largest school district in the United States, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) faces unique challenges operating early education, special education, career and technical education, adult education, afterschool, and summer programs, as well as the core academic programs necessary to ensure every one of the 640,000 K-12 students in LAUSD has the opportunity to graduate from high school ready for college and the workforce. While LAUSD is experiencing improving test scores, attendance, and graduation rates, there remain significant gaps in achievement, particularity for minorities, students with disabilities, and students for whom English is a second language. Actions taken by the United States Congress and the Administration can either help LAUSD effectively address its challenges or create more barriers for LAUSD.
We have represented LAUSD in a variety of capacities since 2008. Most recently, LAUSD hired us to provide federal advocacy services to support its fiscal and policy priorities. We work on a great number of issues before the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of LAUSD, developing and implementing a comprehensive government relations and advocacy strategy. Our issues include the implementation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the reauthorizations of the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and the Child Nutrition Act, and increasing federal education funding, with a particular focus on increasing special education funding.
Raben has worked with LAUSD to build strong, trusting relationships with key Members of Congress and their staff, the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, the broader education communities, and other relevant players in the grantmaking and foundation sectors. For example, we secured an opportunity for former Superintendent Cortines to testify before Congress. In this way, we help leadership in Washington understand the unique challenges and opportunities facing LAUSD, and how it can best support the children and families of Los Angeles.
We have successfully worked with LAUSD to avoid approximately $20 million in annual Medicaid cuts for transportation reimbursements. Raben played a key role in securing $10 billion in Education Jobs funds in 2010 to support school districts after the great recession, helping LAUSD hire and retain teachers and preventing the loss of many education jobs. We successfully helped LAUSD achieve many of their legislative priorities in the ESSA reauthorization, providing strategic analysis, writing letters, visiting Members, organizing opposition, and working with Members from the California delegation to address LAUSD’s priorities. We secured meetings for LAUSD staff with U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee staff and other key stakeholders to address changes to the school lunch program formula in the Child Nutrition Act
In addition, we currently work with LAUSD to help ensure the regulations and guidance implementing ESSA support the District’s efforts to implement the law in a robust and meaningful way. We help LAUSD advance reauthorization of the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and support its vital Linked Learning and career and technical education initiatives. And, we work with LAUSD, Members of Congress, and disability and other education stakeholders to increase funding for special education.
We also help with fly-ins for direct lobbying on the Hill. Along with other officials’ visits, we schedule and staff Hill visits several times a year for the LAUSD Board President, Steve Zimmer, to lobby Congress on the issues important to LAUSD.