Strategic Education Services (SES) is recognized as one of the most influential K-14 education lobbying firms in California. Our team of legislative analysts and advocates provide services ranging from complex fiscal analysis of the annual budget to legislative advocacy and strategic planning. Together, our diverse staff brings over 70 years of cumulative experience working on education issues in state and local government. SES has worked with both Republicans and Democrats, and maintains strong relationships with the Asian Pacific American Legislative Caucus, the Latino Legislative Caucus, the Legislative Women’s Caucus, the Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Department of Finance, and the Governor’s Office.
As a firm, we are set apart by our focus on urban school districts and by our dedication to provide superior insight into legislative policy through comprehensive data analysis. Our emphasis on data analyses allows us the precision and insight needed to deliver the best possible results to our clients and offers them the ability to make informed decisions. Our current client list, which includes Los Angeles Community College District, Santa Ana Unified School District, and San Bernardino City Unified School District reflects our commitment to serve districts with a high concentration of disadvantaged students. The scope of SES’ qualifications includes the following:
- An in-depth understanding of the legislative process, rules governing the passage of legislation, and the implementation of new statutes.
- Ability to analyze legislation and the state budget.
- Skilled in preparation and delivery of testimony before the Legislature and state policy boards.
- Extensive knowledge of how the Legislature interacts with state agencies with regard to policy formulation, development and enactment of legislation, and program implementation.
- Solid professional relationships with an ever changing Legislature and the Administration.
- Excellent relationships with professional, statewide and local associations.
- Ability to perform fiscal analysis of new and existing programs including funding formulas, funding allocations, funding sources and costs.
- Expertise in local school and community college district budgets and the use of categorical resources.
- Institutional and historical knowledge of state government activity as it relates to education and children’s issues.
- A working understanding of electoral campaign techniques, campaign finance and the state Fair Political Practices Act.
- Experience in working with individuals and organizations of diverse backgrounds.
- A thorough understanding of Proposition 98, along with other state initiatives, and its interaction with the state budget.
- Ability to analyze the effects of state ballot propositions.
As outlined below, our services include:
- Legislative Advocacy
- Policy Updates and Reports
- Data and Statistical Analysis
- Coalition Representation
SES staff’s experience in advocating on issues of importance to our clients has a number of dimensions. SES currently lobbies the following agencies related to our clients’ areas of interest:
- the policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature,
- the Office of the Legislative Analyst,
- the Department of Finance,
- the California Department of Education,
- the Governor’s Office,
- the State Allocation Board,
- the State Board of Education,
- the Instructional Quality Commission,
- the Advisory Commission on Charter Schools,
- the Advisory Commission on Special Education,
- the State Chancellor’s Office of the CA Community Colleges
- the Curriculum Commission,
- the Air Resources Board,
- the California Energy Commission,
- the Department of Health Care Services,
- the Little Hoover Commission, and
- the Franchise Tax Board.
Policy Updates and Reports
SES provides the following deliverables to our clients under our standard contract:
- Written monthly reports on recent developments in K-12 education
- A series of memos updating the client on the budget. These memos will include:
- A memo on the Governor’s Budget as introduced, in January
- A memo on the Governor’s May Revision to the budget
- A memo on the legislative action on the budget and where appropriate a memo detailing the Governor’s line item vetoes to the budget. The memo also outlines the trailer bills to the budget.
- A memo on the Legislative Analyst’s November Report, which is issued each year providing a revenue and expenditure projection on what the Governor’s Budget will look like in the following January.
- Where appropriate, draft language for legislation or the budget on issues requested by the client.
- Participate in meetings with key policy makers and stakeholders on issues of concern to the client.
- Participate in both administrative and legislative hearings offering testimony on issues of concern to the client.
- Prepare briefing materials, walk pieces, and handouts where appropriate on behalf of the client.
Sample Memos and Legislative Handouts:
Data and Statistical Analysis
SES is unique from other lobbying firms in that we believe data and analysis is a key tool in successfully delivering the outcomes requested by our clients. Many of our analyses can provide data sorted by legislative district. Recent examples of our work include using data and analysis include:
- Data analysis of Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula [LCFF]. SES has initiated a number of data analysis projects to provide greater insight to the Governor’s LCFF proposal for funding K-12 school districts. SES has organized the information into legislative districts for the LAUSD government relations staff and separated the charter school information from the district data to allow for more accurate comparisons among educational entities.
- Data analysis of Governor Brown’s Student Centered Funding Formula [SCFF]. SES has provided in-depth data analysis on the methodology and calculations that of the Governor’s SCFF proposal for funding the California Community Colleges.
- Compilation of QEIA information by legislative district to defeat a recommendation by the Legislative Analyst to eliminate the QEIA program.
- Calculation of potential gains to school districts if Governor Brown’s proposal in the 2011-12 budget to eliminate redevelopment agencies were adopted by the legislature.
- Showing the impact of funding changes on school districts if AB 18 [Brownley] were to be enacted into law.
Sample Data Analyses:
In addition to individual clients, SES also represents a number of coalitions and membership associations including:
- School Transportation Coalition
- High School District Association
- Association of California Urban School Districts
- Education Coalition