K-12 Education Policy

The K-12 Education Policy team is committed to developing policies for a new education agenda rooted in principles of opportunity for all and equity in access.

Students go over their drawings during an art class. (Getty/Michael Robinson Chavez/Los Angeles Times)

What We're Doing

Racial equity and community-informed policies

K-12 Education applies an explicit race and resource equity lens to our policy and research agenda. We set a standard where equity is centered in all education policymaking and practice, and where institutional racism is called out and addressed as a barrier to progress.

College, career, and civic readiness

We are dedicated to preparing all students for college, civic engagement, and the workforce. We recognize the importance of the K-12 education system in providing every child with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in higher education and a changing workforce.

Modernizing and elevating the teaching profession

We recognize that no education reform effort can be successful without teachers. We are working to modernize and elevate the teaching profession so that teachers receive the training, pay, and respect they deserve and all students have access to high-quality teachers.

Investment and funding equity for public education

We know that funding matters in education, and there are both racial and socioeconomic disparities in investment and opportunities. We are fighting for increased investment and more equitable funding systems so that schools and students receive the resources they deserve.

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Featured work

Coalition Partners

The K-12 Education team is grateful to be part of several great coalitions that allow education advocates and community members to share information, coordinate advocacy, brainstorm policy proposals, and more.

Public Education Big Table Coalition

This coalition represents a group of education, civil rights, disability, research, and community organizations working on K-12 education policy and advocacy.


This national coalition of diverse education organizations and educators sought to transform the systems and policies that support teachers to ensure all students have access to great teaching.

Community Partners

Our team believes that education policymaking should be developed with support from the community. We collaborate with community-based groups to hold conversations with educators, administrators, students, and parents and incorporate these stories and insights into our policy proposals and advocacy. Here are some of the organizations we have worked with.

About our team

We are deeply committed to the role of education in building an equitable and just society. Our approach is to apply an explicit racial equity lens to problem-solving. That lens requires us to engage the communities and people most deeply impacted by education policies in our research, advocacy, and coalition-building. A combination of professional expertise and expertise from the lived experiences of community members allows us to develop and advocate for ideas that will expand opportunity, build a strong democracy, and advance an inclusive economy, both now and in the future.


Prioritizing Racial Equity in Student Mental Health Spending Report

Prioritizing Racial Equity in Student Mental Health Spending

States and school districts have rightly prioritized student mental health as they start to spend pandemic recovery dollars, but they must do more to ensure that funding also promotes racial equity.

Abby Quirk

Education Policies Need To Address the Unique Needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities Report
A group of young (1st grade) Asian students dressed in colorful traditional clothing, standing in front of a microphone. They are holding sheets of light yellow paper, performing folk poetry for the Hmong American Day celebration at the state capitol.

Education Policies Need To Address the Unique Needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

The Center for American Progress is conducting new research that uplifts the lived experiences in public education of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. This research will advance CAP’s ongoing work to apply an explicit racial equity lens to K-12 education policymaking.

Roby Chatterji, Jessica Yin

How To Ensure Equitable Access to Great Teaching Report
 (The Los Angeles Unified School District interim superintendent spends time with a kindergarten student to celebrate the first day of in-class instruction at an elementary school in Los Angeles, August 2021.)

How To Ensure Equitable Access to Great Teaching

The Center for American Progress proposes a new grant program to address the working conditions that contribute to job dissatisfaction and high turnover among the nation’s K-12 teachers in order to increase equal access to highly qualified teachers.

Bayliss Fiddiman, Lisette Partelow

How Students Can Help Build Better Education Policy Report
 (A student raises a hand during a seventh and eighth grade math tutoring workshop in Fullerton, California, November 2014.)

How Students Can Help Build Better Education Policy

The Education Department has an opportunity to reimagine the policymaking process by committing to incorporating student voice.

Ashley Jeffrey, Sadie Bograd

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