Monthly Education Policy E-Newsletter: February Edition

LULAC to Convene Top Education Experts at the 17th Annual National Legislative Conference and Gala

The 17 Annual LULAC Legislative Conference and Awards Gala is taking place Feb. 26-27, 2014 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Being honored this year at the conference and gala include, the Honorable Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor; the Honorable Wendy Davis, Texas State Senator; the Honorable Leticia Van de Putte, Texas State Senator; the Honorable Susana Martinez, Governor of New Mexico; the Honorable Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York; and Mr. Eliseo Medina, immigration leader and advocate.

The education policy briefing will take place on Feb. 26th. The panel is titled “Fulfilling the Promise: Advancing Education and Technology Reforms to Secure a 21st Century Education for Latinos” and will feature remarks from key government, private and public sector leaders on the importance of advancing key reforms aimed at modernizing and expanding programs like E-Rate, strengthening the monitoring and implementation of the ESEA waivers, engaging and educating the Latino community on the ongoing implementation of the Common Core State Standards at the state level, advocating for increased financial aid for college students, and leveraging the support of private and government sector partners to help advance the educational attainment of Hispanics.

Special guests and speakers slated to participate in the conference include:

  • The Honorable Henry Cuellar, Member of Congress, United States House of Representatives (confirmed)
  • The Honorable Pete Gallego, Member of Congress, United States House of Representatives (invited)
  • Ivelisse Estrada, Senior Vice President of Corporate and Community Relations, Univision (confirmed)
  • Rufina A. Hernández, Esq., Executive Director, Campaign for High School Equity (confirmed)
  • Philip Lovell, Vice-President of Federal Advocacy, Alliance for Excellent Education (confirmed)
  • Marc H. Morial, President, The National Urban League (confirmed)
  • Thomas Saenz, President and General Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (invited)

The second day of the conference consists of advocacy meetings on Capitol Hill. This year, over LULAC members will visit close to 100 congressional offices. For more information about the conference or gala, visit the LULAC Legislative Conference and Gala website by clicking here. To register for the conference, click here.

Celebrate Latino Culture with FREE BOOKS for the Kids You Serve!

LULAC is excited to partner with First Book to spread the word about First Book's expanded selection of Latino interest books on the First Book Marketplace! First Book is an international nonprofit dedicated to working with educators and non-profit organizations like LULAC to provide new, high-quality, free and affordable books to kids from low-income families.

First Book's new Latino Culture section of the Marketplace is stocked with tons of great titles that celebrate Hispanic experiences and showcase the work of Hispanic authors and illustrators.

How can YOU get Free Books for your council?

LULAC is partnering with First Book to offer LULAC Councils the opportunity to get free books to distribute to low-income students, children, and families. If your council is doing work serving a community, where at least 70% or more of the children are in need, then you are eligible to receive up to $200 worth of free books for your program and the kids you serve! Or, you can get the entire, amazing Latino Culture and Heritage Collection for Elementary School for free. You choose!

This opportunity is for a limited time only while funds last. Let us know you’re interested by emailing Elena Segura with your name, phone number, email, and LULAC Council region.

Digital Learning Day is Wednesday, February 5: Sign Up TODAY for the Free Virtual Conference and Webcasts

With over 60 technology centers across the country, LULAC is committed to ensuring that Latinos have access to technology and high-speed internet. That is why, LULAC is proud to support the work of our partner, The Alliance for Excellent Education by promoting Digital Learning Day! Created by the Alliance in 2012, Digital Learning Day recognizes schools and school districts that use effective applications of education technology to support teachers, improve learning, and help students achieve at their highest potential.

LULAC National encourages technology centers and councils to sign up to participate in Digital Learning Day national webcasts and the virtual conference. This year, Digital Learning Day will bring live events from Washington, DC to computer screens across the United States and will be streaming live at LULAC National headquarters.

Digital Learning Day will feature a “Power Panel” moderated by PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff. The webcasts will also include guest appearances and lively discussion from dignitaries of the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Congress.

Register TODAY to interact and celebrate the effective use of digital learning as the national celebration unfolds. We will host two live webcasts: one at 11:00 a.m. (ET) and one at 2:30 p.m. (ET). In addition to the live webcasts from the Library of Congress, the virtual conference will offer the following:

  • Lesson plans and games that can be used at education events, the classroom, or tech centers
  • Live chats with field experts and policymakers
  • Interactive polls for viewers to provide feedback during the live event
  • Informational videos to be viewed on demand
  • Virtual trade show and live demonstrations
  • Connections to more than 30,000 teachers and educators nationwide

It's quick and easy to participate, so register now!

More about LULAC and The Alliance: As a partner in the 99in5 coalition, LULAC has teamed up with the Alliance for Excellent Education, and others, to advocate for the modernization and expansion of the E-Rate program. To learn more about the coalition’s work, click here. In addition, advancing the educational attainment of under-served students is a shared goal driving the work of both LULAC and the Alliance for Excellent Education.

LULAC Invited to Speak at Congressional Briefing on Gainful Employment Issues

As a strong champion for educational access, accountability, and equity, LULAC National was invited to present on a panel at a House Congressional briefing on the topic of gainful employment regulations. Having weighed-in on the topic of gainful employment through letters to President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in the past, LULAC was asked to provide insight on how Hispanic students are impacted by career-education programs, especially those at for-profit schools, and the need for strong oversight of the for-profit education industry through gainful employment regulations. Luis Torres, Director of Policy and Legislation provided remarks on behalf of LULAC National.

LULAC Invited to Speak at the Community College National Legislative Summit

This year, the Association of Community College Trustees will be hosting their 2014 Community College National Legislative Summit from Feb. 10-13. As an advocate for higher education, LULAC National was invited to present at a panel focused on Higher Education Act reauthorization issues. LULAC currently co-chairs the Hispanic Education Coalition and has been an active voice in Congress on Latino education equity issues. To see a list of Congressional letters sent to Congress, click here. Luis Torres, Director of Policy and Legislation will provide remarks on behalf of LULAC National.

Spotlight on State Advocacy Work

LULAC National Continues Partnership with New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) – NMPED Launches Spanish Version of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Website

Following two successful public town halls co-hosted by LULAC, the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), and the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED), LULAC heads into 2014 lauding the launch of NMPED’s Spanish language version of their Common Core State Standards website. As the first civil rights organization to partner up with NMPED to educate and engage the community on the implementation of the CCSS, LULAC has worked with New Mexico government officials to bring about critical CCSS information to the community. The recent launch of the Spanish language version of the CCSS website is another great step towards bringing Spanish speaking New Mexicans with information on the implementation of the common core state standards in New Mexico. To visit the new Spanish language version of the NMPED Common Core website, click here. To learn more about LULAC’s work on the Common Core State Standards, visit our website,

LULAC National Signs Letter to Texas State Board of Education Regarding STEM Graduation Requirements

The Texas State Board of Education met early in 2014 to consider proposals to alter the existing graduation requirements. As a champion of STEM education, LULAC has advocated for robust STEM education as part of the ongoing graduation requirement conversation in Texas. Recently, LULAC joined the EdTrust and other education organizations, in sending a letter to the leadership of the Texas State Board of Education urging them to support graduation requirements that ensure Texas students take higher level STEM courses. Read the letter here.

Common Core State Standards Implementation Across the U.S.

Click on your state to see CCSS implementation in your state.