CONTRACT: Policy & Advocacy Consultant

Dallas, Texas, United States | State Coalition | Full-time

Apply by: No close date

The Commit Partnership (the “Partnership”) seeks a Policy & Advocacy Consultant to support its State Policy and Advocacy efforts for the 2021 Legislative Session. The Consultant will work collaboratively with the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Policy Advisor through June 2021. Past legislative wins have included legislation to improve the quality of pre-K programs, improve the pipeline of quality early childhood teachers, and create a new teaching certificate for early grades teachers. In the 2019 Texas legislative session, the Commit Partnership played an important role with many others in passing HB3, an $11.6B school finance and property tax reform package that included equitable funding for full-day pre-K, outcomes funding for college/career readiness, pay raises for teachers, and more. The Policy Consultant will play a key role in helping build a 2021 policy agenda that supports improved postsecondary outcomes and workforce preparedness and that preserves the critical policy accomplishments seen within HB3 last session, including overall funding levels.

Roles & Responsibilities

  1. Postsecondary Agenda

The Consultant will work with the Partnership’s Advocacy and State Coalition team, its Promise team and other key external stakeholders to develop, activate and mobilize a state-level Postsecondary and Workforce policy agenda that helps increase the number of adults with a postsecondary degree while concurrently helping reduce critical labor market gaps enabling our state to have a more prepared workforce with improved pathways toward economic mobility. This agenda will reflect the broad and diverse needs of partners across a state that educates 10% of the nation, with success determined by passing meaningful policies in Texas’ 87th Legislative Session. Specific roles and responsibilities include:

  • Developing a Policy Agenda (now through Fall 2020)
    • Convene a cross-sector group of partners from across the state to identify priority areas for state policy and advocacy efforts that will make the greatest impact, either through legislative or regulatory action. Particular focus will center on those actions that are in alignment with high-fidelity and completion-oriented programs that the Promise team is currently supporting in other regions across Texas.
    • Support Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative: Gov. Greg Abbott has charged the leads of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THEBC), the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) with identifying strategies to address long-term workforce development needs to accomplish the state’s 60x30 goal. The Consultant would collaborate across internal teams (Analytics, Communications, and Dallas County Promise) to help support the work of the Initiative, and leverage learnings to build a supportive policy agenda.
    • Develop internal knowledge on postsecondary policies, specifically as it relates to Postsecondary Funding, Dual Credit, Transfer & Articulation, and other topics as identified by the team and partners. o Collaborate with the Promise’s Senior Consultant, Sarah Jensen, to evaluate efforts and ensure they help reinforce the Policy agenda. •
  • Activating Policy Agenda (Fall 2020)
    • Socialize the defined Policy Priorities for Commit with business leaders, student organization, postsecondary institutions, and other state leaders to build broad & diverse support.
    • Build strategic relationships and alliances with senior leaders from partners statewide who are involved in Postsecondary Education policy or are affected by it. Some initial examples might include: Texas Association of Community Colleges, Texas Rural Student Success Initiative, Data Quality Campaign, etc. Provide regular communication and updates so partners are aware of progress and can provide input.
    • Gather feedback on proposed policies with partners from across the state and iterating on policy proposals as necessary.
  • Mobilize Partners to Action (Fall 2020 through Spring 2021)
    • Equip partners from both grassroots and grasstops organizations to become advocates for policy change and provide meaningful opportunities to take up action through the legislative session.
    • Work with the Partnership’s Communications and Advocacy teams to formulate, coordinate, and integrate a communications strategy.
    • Provide communication and enhancing knowledge among the general public about the policy agenda: presenting to Chambers, Grassroots Organizations, etc.
  1. Preserve HB3

Marshal support from teachers, districts and other stakeholders to defend key components of House Bill 3 during the 2021 legislative session, including the Teacher Incentive Allotment, College, Career, Military Readiness (CCMR) bonuses, the Pre-K/Early Reading Allotment, required school board goal setting and preserving overall funding in the face of a potential economic downturn.

  • Keep 2019 HB3 partner advocates informed and engaged and expand advocates. (Summer 2020-Spring 2021)
  • Mobilize Partners to Action (Fall 2020 through Spring 2021)
    • Equip partners, both grassroots and grasstops organizations, to advocate to preserve HB3 wins and provide meaningful opportunities to take up action through the legislative session.
    • Work with Communications and Advocacy team to formulate, coordinate, and integrate a communications strategy
    • Provide communication and enhancing knowledge among the general public about the policy agenda: presenting to Chambers, Grassroots Organizations, etc.

Knowledge & Skills

  • Strong commitment to our mission and core values, particularly Students First, Equity & Inclusion and Systemic Impact
  • Project management skills with the ability to manage, prioritize, and coordinate multiple tasks and work autonomously in a fast-paced environment
  • An effective facilitator, capable of leading stakeholders toward an agreed-upon objective in a manner that encourages participation, ownership and creativity by all those involved
  • Intermediate-level knowledge of Postsecondary and/or Workforce Policy field
  • Ability to translate complex issues into a level appropriate for varying audiences – from grassroots organizations that represent students, to policymakers and business leaders.
  • Strong presentation skills – both helping create persuasive data-rich presentations with our Analytics team and delivering effective presentations to varying statewide audiences.
  • Some knowledge of policy and policy-making process at a State level, preferably with respect to the Texas Legislature
  • People management skills (both up, down, and laterally) that include diplomacy, fostering a team environment, and managing consultants and administrative staff.
  • Located in Austin or Dallas (Dallas preferred); Willingness to travel as needed

Please be prepared to provide your resume and cover letter as you complete your application. 

The Commit Partnership is an Equal Opportunity Employer that seeks to hire individuals with backgrounds similar to that of the stakeholders they serve. As an organization that embraces equity and inclusion, all employment decisions are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local laws.


About The Commit Partnership

The Commit Partnership is focused on the powerful idea that every child in Dallas County should receive an excellent and equitable education, preparing them to flourish in their careers. To reach this vision, the Partnership serves as a community navigator and connector, analyzing data to elevate strategic initiatives, improve practices and policies, and ultimately growing community capacity, capabilities and resources to serve students more effectively.

Founded in 2012, the Partnership has become the nation’s largest educational collective impact organization, representing a coalition of over 200 partners (public and private PK-12 schools, colleges, foundations, businesses, and nonprofits), all working collaboratively to solve our region’s biggest systemic educational challenges. Our flagship effort, Early Matters Dallas, focuses on improving early childhood outcomes, while our second initiative, Best in Class, aims in partnership with the Communities Foundation of Texas to increase the number of effective and diverse campus educators serving DFW’s 1.2 million students. Our third initiative, Dallas County Promise, seeks to align our local higher education institutions to maximize the number of students who can access and complete a quality postsecondary education. Day-to-day work is supported by more than 60 full-time staff members who combine data, deep educational experience, and strategic thinking to collectively support Partnership efforts while advocating for Dallas County students at the state and local level and convening community conversations around the latest research and best practices. The net result is a shared roadmap for the future that civic leaders and local stakeholders own and hold themselves mutually accountable for its execution.

Our Core Values

The Partnership centers its work around five core values that inform how we approach improving outcomes for students in Dallas County.

  • Students First: Our decisions are guided by multiple stakeholders, but ultimately rest upon one question: What is in the best interest of students?
  • Integrity: To best serve students, families, and the community we will act honestly and ethically in how we make both internal and external decisions, present data, and communicate with partners
  • Equity & Inclusion: We seek to help transform systems in ways that ensure every student has access to the resources they need. We do this by actively and explicitly working with others to create more equitable outcomes and processes.
  • Systemic Impact: We are patient and persistent as we identify the most effective approaches to help create lasting systems change. Once identified, we prioritize and relentlessly attack systemic challenges with efficiency and excellence.
  • Humility: We embrace the fact that our community’s success depends on our ability to work cohesively with each other and to constantly learn.
  • Joy!: It’s important we bring a constant sense of optimism and have fun while taking on this difficult work.