Media Advisory: 2014 AASA Legislative Advocacy Conference

James Minichello

WHAT: AASA’s Legislative Advocacy Conference is the major federal legislative event of the year for school system leaders. This event is the premier opportunity for school superintendents to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill.

WHEN: July 8-10, 2014

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Washington, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C.

Conference Information:

Conference sessions will include:

Tuesday, July 8

Federal Regulations: Congress may not be completing its reauthorization work, but the federal agencies are busy, issuing a bevy of regulations that impact schools. Presenters include:

    o Priscilla Argeris, legal advisor, Federal Communications Commission;
    o Melinda Cep, special assistant, Office of the Under Secretary, USDA;
    o Robert Courtnage, environmental protection specialist, Environmental Protection Agency;
    o Simone Hardeman-Jones, policy advisor, U.S. Department of Education.

Perkins CTE Reauthorization: Capitol Hill staff members discuss the reauthorization of the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Presenters include:

    o Kelly Broughan, education policy advisor, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), House Education & Workforce Ranking Member;

    o Mitch Coppe, legislative liaison, Association for Career and Technical Education;
    o Bill Knudsen, education policy advisor to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Senate HELP Ranking Member;
    o Ned McCulloch, global issue manager, skills development and education, IBM.

IDEA Reauthorization: Advocacy groups discuss the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Presenters include:

    o Jacki Ball, associate director of advocacy, National Association of Secondary School Principals
    o Bill East, executive director, National Association of State Directors of Special Education
    o Reggie Felton, interim associate executive director; federal advocacy and public policy, National School Boards Association
    o Lindsay Jones, director of public policy and advocacy, National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Early Education: Capitol Hill staffers discuss the reauthorization of the Head Start and Child Care Development Block Grant programs as well as recent efforts related to universal PreK. Presenters include:

    o Mario Cardona, committee office of U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa);
    o Scott Groginsky, committee office of U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.);
    o Cristin Kumar, committee office of U.S. Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.).

Federal Funding: Capitol Hill staffers discuss the budget and appropriations process for FY15, which impacts funding for schools in the 2015-16 school year, including restoring sequester cuts. Presenters include:

    o Sarah Bolton, committee office of U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.);
    o Mark Laisch, Committee Office of U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Wednesday, July 9

Members of Congress will share comments on education. They include:

    o U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member, Senate Education Committee;
    o U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, (R-Ind.), Member, Education & The Workforce Committee.

Thursday, July 10

Student Data/Privacy: Student Data and Privacy have long been topics of discussion, especially in the context of increased connectivity and digital learning. This panel will frame the larger conversation, focus on the relevant components at the federal policy level and share insight on the likely impact for your school district. Presenters include:

    o Paige Kowalski, director, state policy and advocacy, Data Quality Campaign;
    o Chip Slaven, Senior Advocacy Associate, Alliance for Excellent Education.

ALEC/State Policy Work: Coordinated legislative efforts have, in recent years, resulted in state legislation that undermines public schools. This panel will highlight the work and impact of such efforts, detail what it means for federal policy and suggest what superintendents can do to turn the tide in favor of legislation that strengthens the nation’s public schools. Presenters include:

    o Andrew Ujifusa, reporter, Education Week (facilitator);
    o Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research, Center on Budget Policy Priorities;
    o Stephen Parker, legislative director, Education and Workforce Committee, National Governors Association;
    o Jay Riestenberg, research analyst, Common Cause.

2014 Elections/Federal, Gubernatorial and Polling: This year is a busy election year: mid-term elections at the federal level mean the full House and a share of the Senate are up for re-election along with state legislatures and 36 state governors. Lake Research is at the front of election polling and research, and this session will highlight what you need to know about the elections and what it will mean for education. Presenter includes: 

    o Jonathan Voss, senior analyst, Lake Research Partners.


Media Registration: Members of the media who wish to attend the conference may contact James Minichello at 703-774-6953 or


About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 10,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit Follow AASA on Twitter at or on Facebook at