The Director of Legislative Affairs will report to the Managing Director of External Affairs, be part of the Advancement Team, play a crucial role at the forefront of IDEA’s External Affairs and Advocacy work, and support opportunities for organizational growth. This role will consists of four primary responsibilities: (1) defend all per-pupil funding and protect from disproportionate cuts to funding streams by the Legislature or any governmental entity in all states in which IDEA operates , (2) Build relationships with lawmaker's offices, coalition partners and charter associations to advance IDEA’s mission across all states and regions, (3) oversee the continued build-out of a coalition of IDEA Team and Family parents, students, teachers, and alumni to advocate for and advance IDEA’s mission, and (4) support any and all efforts of IDEA’s External Affairs team related to Advocacy and Growth. Effective execution of this work will ensure IDEA operates in a supportive legislative environment and positively impact IDEA’s ability to grow in communities of demand.
Key internal stakeholders in this work will be the Governance, Finance, Operations, Legal, Marketing and Communications, and Regulatory Affairs departments, as well as co-workers on the Advancement team. This role requires a deep understanding of education policy, excellent communication skills, and a proven track record in state-level advocacy and community engagement.
Team Leadership Responsibilities: In conjunction with the Managing Director of External Affairs, the Director of Legislative Affairs will help lead a team made up of two Advocacy Managers, one part-time Advocacy Intern (seasonally, based on budgetary availability), and a coalition of parent advocates.
1. Legislative Strategy and Execution – 50%
- Develop and execute a strategy that builds IDEA’s capacity to influence policy at the local, state, and federal levels.
- Collaborate with internal stakeholders to identify and prioritize key advocacy issues affecting public charter schools.
- Monitor legislative and regulatory developments and provide timely updates to senior leadership.
- Cultivate relationships with policymakers, government officials, and other external partners to influence education policies and regulations.
- Represent IDEA’s interests at conferences, public hearings, and other relevant events.
- Support IDEA’s communication with state education agencies related to policy and regulatory matters.
- Prepare comments in response to draft regulations, responding to all draft regulations to which IDEA wishes to provide public comment within the public comment period.
- Recommend to the Managing Director of External Affairs positions on relevant legislation and policies to support prioritization of the organization’s policy agenda.
- Create and cultivate relationships with charter associations, state coalition groups, state agencies and state legislatures to develop and promote a position on relevant legislation and policies that is healthy for public charter schools to grow and thrive.
- Lead and manage engagement with local, state, and federal lawmakers across all IDEA regions, including coordinating roundtables with IDEA constituent groups and planning and executing school tours with lawmakers and their staff.
2. Family Organizing and Engagement – 10%
- Develop and oversee implementation of family, teacher, and alumni engagement and advocacy programs, with a focus first on parent engagement.
- Lead and supervise the family organizing team, providing guidance, mentorship, and professional development opportunities.
- Develop and implement strategies to effectively engage and mobilize families in support of the network's initiatives.
- Collaborate with school leaders and staff to ensure effective family engagement practices across the network.
- Identify opportunities to empower families to become advocates for their children's education and to drive positive change in the broader education landscape.
- Manage the IDEA Votes campaign across Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Ohio to ensure 100% of the IDEA Team & Family receive 501c (3) compliant communications on voting and oversee tools to monitor voter registration and participation.
3. Cross-Functional Collaboration – 30%
- Work closely with the Governance, Finance, Operations, Legal, Marketing and Communications, and Regulatory Affairs departments to align messaging, amplify advocacy efforts, and maximize impact.
- Develop and maintain an expert-level knowledge of all legislation and policy relevant to IDEA as it moves through the legislative process.
- Prepare and provide clear, concise, accurate, and time-sensitive updates to the Regulatory Affairs team about active legislation and potential policy changes throughout active legislative sessions.
- Provide expert information and in-depth context to the Regulatory Affairs team regarding finalized legislative actions to support their work in navigating complex regulatory landscapes and ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- Collaborate with the Marketing and Communications team to develop compelling communications materials and media strategies that support advocacy goals.
- Foster strong relationships with internal stakeholders, including school leaders, teachers, and staff, to ensure their active participation in advocacy efforts.
4. Leadership and Team Management – 10%
- Lead and develop a high-performing advocacy and family organizing team.
- Set clear performance expectations, provide regular feedback, and conduct performance evaluations.
- Foster a collaborative and inclusive team culture that promotes professional growth and continuous learning.
- Promote effective cross-team collaboration, knowledge sharing, and best practices.
- Support the Managing Director of External Affairs in their work leading IDEA’s efforts in Advocacy, Growth, and External Affairs.
Goals: You will be responsible for meeting measurable goals related to:
- Policy and Advocacy
- Lawmaker Engagement
- External Coalition Building and Engagement
- Internal IDEA Advocacy Programs and Pipeline
- Internal IDEA Cross-Functional Collaboration
- Passion for IDEA Public Schools’ mission and vision.
- Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion practices.
- A fundamental belief that all students deserve a high-quality education and can achieve.
- Proven ability to build relationships with members of both political parties and people of a wide diversity of backgrounds and lines of difference.
- An understanding of key leaders and elected officials in the education reform movement in Texas.
- Knowledge of and ability to learn about state, local, and federal legislation impacting charter school students, leaders, and families.
- Excellent written communication skills.
- Track record of managing volunteers to hit ambitious goals.
- Experience delivering high-quality training and workshops.
- Exceptional event planning and execution skills.
- Demonstrated skill in creating and executing community organizing plans with specific goals.
- Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings.
- Bachelor’s Degree required.
- Minimum of 3-5 years of experience in public affairs, government, advocacy, community organizing, or related fields.
- Minimum of 1-2 years of experience working in a K-12 school environment (strongly preferred)
- Experience in education and knowledge of K-12 education and school choice policy issues (preferred)
- Experience working with diverse stakeholders, including policymakers, community leaders, and families (preferred)
Compensation: Salaries for this role typically fall between $82,000 and $100,900 commensurate with relevant experience and qualifications. This role is also eligible for a performance bonus based on organizational performance and goal attainment.
Additionally, we offer medical, dental, and vision plans, disability, life insurance, parenting benefits, flexible spending account options, generous vacation time, referral bonuses, professional development, and a 403(b) plan. You can find more information about our benefits at https://ideapublicschools.org/careers/benefits/.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At IDEA we recognize that racism, bias, and privilege exist in society. We are committed to an organizational culture that promotes awareness and inclusivity for our students and staff and supports their path to positively impact our broader society. We are committed to recognizing the impact of racism and privilege, and commit as an organization to have equitable practices, policies, and structures. Visit https://ideapublicschools.org/dei/ to learn about IDEA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Anti-Racist and Anti-Bias commitment.
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