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AACF Seeks Director of Education Policy

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families (AACF) was founded in 1977 to advance public policies that improve the well-being of children and families, especially those most vulnerable because of poverty, racism, and other structural barriers. Through policy research and advocacy, AACF promotes reforms to improve child and family well-being, including health, education, family economic security, juvenile justice, and child welfare. In 2018, AACF’s Board approved a new strategic plan that includes a priority focus on racial equity.

Director of Education Policy

Job Summary: Work to promote state and local education policies that improve equity in resources, opportunities, and outcomes for children, particularly for families of color and families that live in poverty. Will lead AACF’s efforts to: work with diverse allies and partners to improve quality early childhood education and K-12 education; improve the quality of public schools in the Little Rock School District; and conduct analyses and develop state policies that promote educational opportunities and outcomes for children. Candidates must have a proven track record of analysis in education policy and education finance; knowledge of local, state, and federal education policy; and advocacy. Candidates must have experience working in coalitions and with diverse groups and populations.

The position is based in AACF’s Little Rock office. Salary range is $65,000 to $80,000, depending on qualifications and experience. People of color and other applicants with lived experience in the issues we champion are encouraged to apply.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements:

  • Knowledge and understanding of: local, state, and federal education policies that impact children, including strategies for improving educational outcomes for children of color and children who live in poverty; early childhood education; and P-12 education finance issues
  • Graduate or advanced degree in public policy, education, law, or related field.
  • Ability to conduct statistical analyses and develop policy options for improving P-12 education for children of color and children who live in poverty
  • Ability to analyze public funding streams for P-12 education
  • Ability to convene partners, build coalitions, and work collaboratively with a diverse set of public agencies, policymakers, and state and local constituency groups, including state and local education officials, legislators, education-related professional groups, advocacy groups, parents and grassroots organizing groups
  • Holistic understanding of children’s education issues and how they relate to other AACF issues such as children’s health, tax and budget issues, juvenile justice, mental health, etc.
  • Ability to write grants, research reports, concept reports, and project reports
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills and the ability to communicate with diverse audiences, including policymakers, the media, and low-income populations
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment and motivate others through consensus building
  • Ability to work on multiple projects and tasks in a time-sensitive manner

Responsibilities:

  • Lead the development of AACF’s P-12 education policy agenda with the executive director as set out in AACF’s strategic plan with a focus on race equity
  • Direct AACF’s work on education projects and initiatives, including access to quality early childhood education, P-12 education funding issues with an emphasis on equity, building stronger public schools, funding afterschool and summer programs, education issues related to the Little Rock School District, and other education projects as assigned
  • Conduct research and analyses and lead AACF’s efforts to identify and develop public policy and state budget options that improve quality educational opportunities and outcomes for children of color and children who live in poverty
  • Work with the governmental affairs director to lobby the state legislature on education-related issues, track education-related bills, and monitor the education committees during the legislative session
  • Work closely with state agency officials at the Arkansas Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and the Department of Human Services to monitor programs and advocate for changes in policies and procedures
  • Lead AACF’s P-12 education advocacy efforts, including coalition building, convening partners, and public outreach/education
  • Work with the executive director and communications director to develop AACF’s communications strategy for education, including writing blogs and other communication pieces
  • Coordinate with AACF staff on education-related issues, such as school health/wellness programs and education programs in the Division of Youth Services
  • Provide technical assistance to staff members and allies on education data and policy issues
  • Represent AACF as needed on committees and coalitions related to education policy
  • Assist the executive director in fundraising by identifying education-related grant opportunities, working with foundation program officers, and writing concept papers, grant proposals, and project reports
  • Assist the Central Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas development directors as needed in educating individual donors about AACF’s education policy work
  • Work with national organizations on education-related issues
  • Travel as needed for in-state meetings with partners and out-of-state conferences with funders and national partners

Commitment to Equity in Hiring

People of color and other applicants with lived experience on the issues we champion are encouraged to apply.

Apply now!

To apply, please email a cover letter and resume to jvazquez@aradvocates.org.