2020 Annual Report
Stand Supporters and Partners,
Reflecting on 2020 your thoughts may gravitate, as do mine, to the overwhelming suffering, misery, and strife.
To George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain, and Rayshard Brooks, and the many other Black Americans killed by police or, in Arbery’s case, virulently racist vigilantes.
To the hundreds of thousands of Americans who lost their lives and the millions who lost loved ones to COVID-19.
To the millions and millions of families in our nation desperately trying to keep a roof over their children’s heads, afford food, and pay their bills.
To the tens of millions of U.S. children, young people, parents, and educators struggling and persevering during this pandemic school year.
But you might also focus, as I choose to do, on the massive selflessness, generosity, and resistance in 2020.
On all the essential workers putting their lives at risk daily to save others.
On all those who gave generously to help friends, neighbors, and people they’ll never meet to stay afloat.
On the millions who peacefully caused good and necessary trouble standing up for Black Lives and provoked a long overdue national racial reckoning.
As you read this annual report – and thank you for taking the time to do so – I hope you’re gratified by how much good we were able to do together in this turbulent and difficult year. It is truly humbling to me how much we stepped up together and what a difference we made in 2020.
Heading toward Stand’s 25th Anniversary, I could not be more fired up to continue to fight alongside you in 2021 for educational, racial, and social justice.
Standing together with you,
We fight for policies and investments made at every level of government, focusing on improving outcomes for underserved students.
Project 100, a partnership of Give Directly, Propel, and Stand, exceeded its ambitious goal of providing $1,000 direct cash payments to 100,000 SNAP recipient households that use Propel’s Fresh EBT App. To date, more than 176,000 households across the country have received $1,000 payments.
Ten Stand employees, from various teams across the organization, volunteered and led persistent outreach efforts by making over 4,000 calls and texts to Fresh EBT App users. This resulted in 678 households receiving a $1,000 direct cash payment at a moment of crushing financial pressure.
The success of this ambitious initiative would not have been possible without a $20 million anchor commitment by Stacy Schusterman, a tremendous launch thanks to Stacey Abrams that catalyzed tens of millions of dollars of contributions, 20,000+ gifts overall including several contributions over $1 million, and the outstanding work by Give Directly, Propel, and Stand staff.
Teach Kindness: Flex Path
In response to the challenging circumstances schools are facing during the 2020-2021 school year, Teach Kindness quickly adapted to provide educators with the flexibility needed to continue to strive to make social-emotional learning widely available to students.
Teach Kindness: Flex Path offers educators hyper-relevant activities that are easy to implement in a variety of settings (in-person, virtual, and asynchronous.) The Flex Path program also removed the time-limited 30-day framework and staff participation requirements to make this powerful, timely content as accessible as possible.
Flex Path provides resources that key districts, including Broward County, Fla., Schools; Orange County, Fla., Schools; Indianapolis Public Schools; and Chicago Public Schools, have come to rely upon while giving new districts the resources and flexibility they need to make social-emotional learning a priority during this period of upheaval.
Home Visit Project (HVP)
When COVID-19 sent children and teachers home this spring, families turned to teachers for help. Families shared they were not only struggling with remote learning, but many were without work and unable to afford the basics.
Teachers who had built strong relationships with families through the Home Visit Project network told Stand the most immediate need of their students’ families was access to food. The Stand Team quickly responded by partnering with Wholesome Wholesale, a Dallas food distribution nonprofit, to ensure 120 of the neediest families as identified by HVP educators as being in desperate need would receive food baskets of meat, produce, and household items delivered to their doors from March through early November. Home Visit Project teachers referred the families, solicited financial contributions from donors in their networks, and volunteered to assemble and deliver the baskets. Nothing tells this story better than the thank you notes Stand received from teachers and families!
Center for High School Success (CHSS)
Keeping 9th grade students engaged during remote learning is critical to keeping them on track. To help the 152 high schools in the Ninth Grade Success Network do their best to support their 40,014 ninth graders, Stand’s Center for High School Success (CHSS) staff rapidly shifted to 100% virtual coaching and professional learning convenings. This has helped partner high schools pivot to virtual Ninth Grade Success team meetings and adapt meeting protocols to focus on student learning access, re-engagement, and socio-emotional needs in a virtual learning context.
Since April, in addition to providing regular coaching, CHSS has held over 25 virtual professional development and networking events attended by thousands of educators.
Preventing a Lost School Year Guide
After the 2019-2020 school year was severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Stand for Children created the Preventing a Lost School Year Guide. The guide promoted doable, evidence-based actions school districts could take to foster academic success and emotional well-being of students during the pandemic.
District Administration magazine featured Preventing a Lost School year in June, bringing it to the attention of thousands of administrators across the nation. The American Association of School Administrators distributed the guide to all 50 of their state executive directors and featured it on their online COVID Resources list. The Louisiana Department of Education highlighted key recommendations in its pandemic school year guidance to Louisiana districts, and the Los Angeles County Superintendent shared it with every superintendent in L.A. County. More than 60 district administrators from across the country signed up for additional Preventing a Lost School Year updates and resources, and Stand engaged directly with administrators in Baltimore Public Schools, Philadelphia Public Schools, Indianapolis Public Schools, and Phoenix Union High School District about incorporating the best practices from the guide into their district’s 2020-2021 school year plans.
One recommendation offered in the guide is to provide advising and solid connections for all students to keep them engaged whether or not they are in a school building. Thea Andrade, chief academic officer of Phoenix Union High School District, attested to the importance of incorporating this practice especially as students grapple with the effects of the pandemic. “Every student in the system’s 21 high schools is connected to a caring adult who monitors the teen’s progress, attendance and social-emotional well-being. These were wellness checks to say to students, ‘We’re here. We love you. How are you doing? What can we do to help?'” Andrade says. “It was really a nice time to talk with kids and answer all their questions.”
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic the Stand Arizona team quickly pivoted and prioritized the immediate needs of families. Stand Arizona organizers conducted a needs assessment surveying over 400 Arizona families. Their key concerns were food security and resources for at-home learning for their children. The Stand Arizona team prioritized these concerns in their partnerships to connect families with helpful resources.
In collaboration with Valley of the Sun United Way, the Stand Arizona team was able to assist families affected by the pandemic by giving out 25 $200 Fry’s gift cards to assist them in purchasing necessities.
“My husband lost his job because of COVID-19 and hasn’t been able to get his job back. I don’t work because I’m the main caretaker for my kids, but we are going through a really rough time because of everything that is happening. We haven’t had money for diapers and baby products and this help from Fry’s will help us a lot. Thank you!”- Irene Estrada
Additionally, Stand Arizona partnered with Valley of the Sun United Way to provide 40 families in the Alhambra school district with laptops for students to continue their learning remotely as schools moved to virtual learning.
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused schools to close and families to take on new challenges, the Stand Colorado team decided that listening to families was the most effective way to provide meaningful support. In early March, the team launched a needs assessment survey, which received nearly 300 responses, with lost income, supporting students academically, and mental health cited as the top concerns. Organizers followed up with every person who responded to the survey with resources that were specific to the needs they articulated and launched efforts to address needs more broadly.
Families overwhelmingly expressed a need for information and resources related to at-home literacy, so the Stand Colorado staff created a Virtual Literacy Center, complete with organic educational videos, family activities, and information about the READ Act and literacy policy in Colorado.
In response to parent concern around mental health and staying connected to community, Stand Parent Organizers hosted weekly virtual “hangouts” in both English and Spanish to give families the opportunity to talk about the struggles they faced and share experiences.
In March, Stand Indiana organizers and organizing fellows made hundreds of calls to parents to understand families’ needs and challenges. Nearly 200 parents completed the survey. The key findings included the following:
- 54% worried about food security and access
- 44% wanted help with at-home learning for their child
- Almost one third expressed concern about housing security
- More than a quarter needed help with access to internet
- 38% reported losing income
Stand Indiana then quickly pivoted to provide resources addressing as many of the immediate needs as possible. The team:
- Launched a COVID-19 resource hub to provide a variety of resources for parents in one easy to find location.
- Implemented a home learning hotline for parents who need help with K-6 math and reading.
- Urged internet providers to eliminate barriers preventing families from utilizing free or discounted service and joined in calls with Spanish speaking families to ensure quality service.
- Delivered 400 boxes of food in partnership with the Indy Hunger Network and Gleaners.
- Made welfare check calls in Spanish to Spanish-speaking families, which led to food delivery, direct consumer advocacy with utility companies, and home learning support.
Center for Anti-Racist Education (CARE)
Stand for Children’s 501(c)(3) Board of Directors recently approved the launch of the Center for Anti-Racist Education to be led by renowned antiracism educators Maureen Costello, Val Brown, and Kate Shuster. CARE aligns with Stand’s Strategic Plan initiative to “combat systemic racism and educator bias” and reflects the commitment Stand made following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery to make racial justice our central and enduring priority.
CARE’s three key areas of focus will fill a major void in the educational landscape:
- Assuring Quality Antiracist Learning Materials: The first CARE project will tackle P-12 materials in U.S. history and will be called Better History. CARE will develop rubrics to assess history materials’ alignment to antiracist principles and embed those rubrics into a unique Curriculum Audit Tool. CARE will also enlist qualified educators to conduct reviews, assign ratings, and develop reports on popular materials. The tools, ratings and reviews will be posted on CARE’s website and widely disseminated in periodic reports.
- Supporting Antiracist Teaching: CARE will build educator expertise on a broad scale to implement and share antiracist teaching practices in a variety of ways. First, CARE will employ new media to provide educators with practical and research-based resources designed to build teacher content knowledge and fluency with antiracist principles. In the first year, CARE will also offer a variety of free professional learning opportunities, including a series to introduce educators to both leading antiracist experts and experienced classroom teachers. Feedback from these events will subsequently help shape the development of a formal Antiracist Certification (ARC) program.
- Research and Evaluation: To continually increase clarity regarding what works in the field of antiracist education and ensure CARE certification and accreditation are as meaningful and credible as possible, CARE will: 1) actively monitor relevant research and solicit feedback about CARE processes and products, 2) publish reports, including a biannual “State of Antiracist Education” report, and 3) provide and administer grants to support empirical antiracism education research.
CARE will launch publicly in early 2021.
An outstanding group of Stand-supported youth leaders led a successful effort that, in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, led to Portland Public Schools’ (PPS) Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero committing to remove School Resource Officers (SROs) from Portland Public Schools. Stand subsequently succeeded in persuading the Eugene 4J school district to follow suit and is now pursuing state legislation focused on removing SROs from Oregon schools. In a Hechinger Report essay, then Stand Organizer Elona Wilson documented how PPS became one of the first major urban districts to remove police from schools.
Stand Louisiana championed an East Baton Rouge Parish school board resolution calling for the superintendent to convene a special committee to consider new names for Lee Magnet School, a prominent East Baton Rouge school with a population of 80% Black students. Stand created a petition and quickly gathered over 342 signatures. Six community organizations joined in the signed the petition. The board voted 9-0 in favor of changing the name of the school to Liberty High School.
Stand Colorado parents joined partners in advocating for the removal of SROs from Denver Public Schools. The initiative was unanimously supported in a vote by the school board. Additionally, Stand parents and members testified before the school board about the removal of officers from schools and the next steps after their removal.
Stand for Children Arizona’s top priority locally and Stand for Children’s top priority nationally was to qualify and pass a pathbreaking education funding measure, Proposition 208 — Invest in Ed Initiative, to raise $940 million per year to help address Arizona’s teacher shortage crisis, hire additional counselors, nurses, social workers, and aides, and double the state’s investment in career and technical education courses.
Stand for Children Arizona co-led a strong and cohesive statewide coalition that included the Arizona Education Association, the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, Children’s Action Alliance, Arizona Interfaith, and others.
Thanks to a tremendous coalition effort, generous financial support from the National Education Association, Stacy Schusterman, Open Society Institute, and Arthur Rock, and the assistance of outstanding voter registration and mobilization efforts by a broad coalition of progressive groups, the Invest in Education measure passed with nearly 52% of the vote. It was the first tax measure ever to pass in Arizona despite gubernatorial opposition and it passed despite nearly $20 million of opposition spending and a pandemic that made it tremendously difficult to gather the 237,645 valid signatures necessary to qualify.
Stand invested $4 million in paid signature gathering which, combined with the incredible work of hundreds of teacher volunteers and 35 active Stand volunteers, enabled the Invest in Education coalition to safely gather more than enough signatures – despite social distancing – to qualify the Invest in Ed initiative for the ballot.
After overcoming an aggressive and well-funded legal challenge by the opposition, our campaign got up on TV first with strong ads, countered misleading opposition ads quickly, had a strong digital ad and mail program, and ran a tremendous voter contact effort that texted or called well over one million targeted Arizona voters.
The result was a watershed victory in a historically anti-tax state with more registered Republicans and Independents than Democrats, and a powerful testament to the level of support that exists for targeted investments in education with strong accountability and for greater tax fairness.
Stand for Children Colorado backed two statewide measures, Proposition EE and Amendment B. Proposition EE raises taxes on cigarettes and vaping to initially provide needed funding for public schools and then fund universal, free preschool for all Colorado 4-year-olds while also reducing teen smoking and vaping. Amendment B repealed Colorado’s 1982 Gallagher Amendment, which limited localities’ ability to increase school funding and put greater budget pressure on the state.
Stand Colorado also backed a Denver Public Schools Mill Levy to fund mental health services for students, additional school nurses, expanded special education services, an increased minimum wage for district support staff, and a Bond to build and maintain schools. Specifically, the Bond will fund air conditioning for 24 of the hottest DPS school buildings, expanded technology access, additional classrooms to help with overcrowding, and address maintenance issues.
In support of the statewide and Denver measures, Stand Colorado staff recruited 53 volunteers who completed a total of 332 voter contact shifts and directly completed 290 voter contact shifts, collectively enabling the dissemination of 298,213 text messages to identify supportive voters and 2,115 handwritten postcards to encourage low propensity yes voters to turnout.
Both statewide measures and the Mill and Bond levies passed.
Stand for Children endorsed 9 candidates for Colorado Senate, 15 candidates for Colorado House of Representatives, 1 candidate for State Board of Education, two ballot measures, and the Denver Public Schools Bond and Mill. All nine of Stand Colorado-endorsed candidates were elected to the State Senate, 14 to the State House of Representatives and one to the State Board of education.
All four Indianapolis Public Schools Board candidates endorsed by Stand Indiana parent leaders were victorious this election cycle. Stand staff and Stand IPS parents were proud to work alongside valued partners RISE and the Indy Chamber in support of candidates Kenneth Allen, Diane Arnold, Venita Moore, and Will Pritchard, all of whom worked incredibly hard and ran effective, strategic races.
Stand parent leaders’ voter outreach was instrumental in this important victory for IPS students. They sent 130,000 texts and made more than 250,000 calls to targeted voters on behalf of endorsed candidates. That outreach led to 17,000 text responses and 7,700 phone conversations with voters. Considering one race was decided by less than 600 votes and another by less than 1,600, their outreach was consequential, as were Stand’s digital ads, which reached 120,000 targeted voters.
Stand parent Sashah Robertson, who served on Stand’s candidate endorsement committee, did significant voter outreach, and spent 12 hours on election day talking to voters at the polls, exemplifying the passion and motivation for a more just and equitable IPS that powered the parents’ effort. In a blog about her support for at-large candidate Kenneth Allen, Sashah wrote this:
“Black and Brown students like my son don’t get the same level of education or the same level of treatment as other kids in the same school system. I need to see this change, and I’m not alone in feeling this way. If there’s one person running that I believe could close the opportunity gap, it’s Kenneth.”
Stand Washington was a leading member of the Committee for Proven Leadership working together on the re-election of Senator Mark Mullet, who has worked with Stand to fix the charter school law, help lead the passage of the historic Academic Acceleration bill (requiring school districts to automatically enroll eligible high schoolers in the next most rigorous course), and fought to ensure school counselors are able to focus on core counseling services for students.
During the primary, Stand layered digital advertising on top of the committee’s corresponding use of TV ads, mailers, direct texts to voters and socially distant canvassing, and ultimately delivered 950,000 impressions to households before ballots were due. Stand also led volunteers in sending 62,300 texts to registered voters in LD5 between both the primary and general election.
As of November 5, when all ballots were counted, Senator Mullet was ahead by only 18 votes. Knowing there would be a ballot chasing effort on both sides, the Committee transitioned its phone bankers and canvassers to the ballot curing phase. Senator Mullet was re-elected with a small margin of 56 votes. A hand recount effort began on December 1, which isn’t expected to alter the election result.
In addition to the effort to re-elect Senator Mullet, Stand Washington also spent a significant independent expenditure on polling, digital ads, and text banking to re-elect State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, who won with 56.7% of the vote.
Since Illinois’ school funding formula was revamped to increase equity in 2017, Stand for Children Illinois has played a key role in securing annual funding increases that, combined, now top $1 billion per year. To show the impact of that substantial investment – and the continued need for funding – Stand visited schools across state and produced a powerful series of videos, including this one:
Those powerful stories and Stand members’ advocacy helped persuade Illinois lawmakers to keep evidence-based funding at the previous year’s funding level. Far more investment is needed to ensure equitable education funding in Illinois, but it is important lawmakers prioritize maintaining the state’s considerable funding equity progress.
When forced to rebalance the budget this summer in response to economic downturn caused by COVID-19, Stand Oregon helped persuade Oregon lawmakers to maintain full funding for Measure 98, the high school success initiative that Stand Oregon developed and passed in 2016 and for which Stand secured $302 million for the 2019-2021 biennium. Securing and then maintaining full funding for Measure 98 during the downturn reflects the Governor and legislators’ strong recognition of the tremendous impact the new Measure 98-funded career and technical education courses, ninth grade success programs, and college credit courses are having across Oregon.
In addition, Stand Oregon advocated successfully for the Legislature to protect $566 million in additional targeted education investments resulting from the business tax funded Student Success Act. Those investments will be particularly important in enabling Oregon school districts to support students following this difficult pandemic school year.
Stand for Children Memphis secured continued funding by Shelby County Schools (SCS) to enable SCS high schools to keep ninth graders on track. Thanks to support from Stand CHSS coaches, SCS high schools in the Freshman Success Network have averaged double digit gains in ninth grade on track rates. The continued district funding is critical to maintain that progress.
In the fall of 2019, Stand for Children championed the passage of a law requiring that, by the 2021-2022 school year, all school districts in Washington State adopt an Academic Acceleration policy whereby students who meet standards on state-level exams are automatically placed into the next most rigorous course in the matching content area(s.) Districts can add additional criteria if it does not worsen or create disparities. This first-of-its-kind statewide push to reduce historic barriers to dual credit and advanced classes, particularly for underrepresented groups of students, builds on a previous Stand-championed law that provided financial support to more than 50 school districts that subsequently chose to implement Academic Acceleration policies.
To help more districts implement Academic Acceleration, in August 2020, the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) announced it would provide grants of up to $75,000 on a competitive basis to help school districts provide equitable access to dual credit coursework. Stand Washington is grateful for OSPI’s commitment to equitable advanced course access and our ongoing partnership on both Academic Acceleration and Ninth Grade Success implementation.
“OSPI is intent on supporting districts to eliminate these gaps, especially for our students of color, students from low-income families, students with disabilities, students in foster care, English learners, students who are experiencing homelessness, and students who identify as LGBTQ+. The Academic Acceleration policy that Stand for Children worked to pass in 2019 is a critical tool to eliminate barriers for students, and this grant program will help districts implement that new policy well.”
- Katherine Mahoney, the Assistant Director for Policy at the OSPI Office of System and School Improvement
Arizona has had a dire teacher shortage crisis for many years because of deep education funding cuts during the Great Recession that were never restored. Roughly 28% of the open teaching positions at the end of last school year remain unfilled, amounting to more than 1,600 vacancies, while half of the openings were filled by teachers who do not meet the state’s standard certification requirements. In addition, Arizona has the nation’s worst guidance counselor to student ratio – 903 students for every counselor. Finally, Arizona has among the lowest graduation rates in the nation.
The Proposition 208 — Invest in Ed Initiative will help address these major challenges and make a significant difference for Arizona’s 1.1 million students every year. It levies a 3.5% income tax surcharge on taxable income over $250,000 for single filers or over $500,000 for taxpayers who file joint returns. The tax collected beginning in 2022 is estimated to provide $940 million a year to Arizona’s K-12 public school system. An incredible 99.95% of Prop 208 funds will directly benefit schools, with only .05% going to administrative expenses.
Stand for Children Leadership Center
Stand for Children Leadership Center is a 501(c)(3) public charity that educates and empowers parents, teachers, and community members on how to demand excellent schools. In FY2020 operating within the pandemic provided new challenges and opportunities. Solid financial practices, a CARES Act PPP Loan, and continued efforts to create impact within the communities served allowed the organization to retain staff and continue to execute at a high level.
The complete FY2020 audited financial statements will be available in late January 2021.
Stand for Children Leadership Center maintains a four-star rating for sound fiscal management from Charity Navigator, the nation’s premier independent evaluator of charitable organizations.
Stand for Children, Inc.
Stand for Children, Inc. is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that advocates for effective policies and investment in public education. In FY2020 the organization strategically leveraged cash resources in support of the November 2020 election.
The complete FY2020 audited financial statements will be available in late January 2021.
Funders & Partners
We are grateful to have an extraordinary group of supporters who believe in our work. As we share our impact in this report, we would like to thank the following donors who contributed $100,000 or more during our 2020 fiscal year and our primary program partners. We would also like to thank the many donors and organizational partners who are too numerous to list but whose contributions support all aspects of our work and success. Without their support, none of our achievements for students would be possible!
- Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc.
- Ballmer Philanthropy Group
- Bloomberg Philanthropies
- Bill & Melinda Gates Family Foundation
- Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
- Crown Family Philanthropies
- Paul Finnegan
- Henry Crown and Company
- Helios Education Foundation
- IPS Education Foundation
- James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation
- Kenneth Brody Revocable Trust
- Memphis Education Fund
- Meyer Memorial Trust
- Renaissance Foundation
- Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock
- The Joyce Foundation
- The Mind Trust
- Tom and Susan Dunn
- Urban Child Institute
- W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund
- Ballmer Philanthropy Group
- Bloomberg Philanthropies
- Public School Allies
- Alliance for Excellent Education
- American Association of School Administrators
- American Federation of Teachers
- Center for Black Educator Development
- Chiefs for Change
- Clean Slate Initiative
- Debt Free Justice Campaign
- Democrats for Education Reform
- Educators for Excellence
- Education Superhighway
- Equal Opportunity Schools
- Facing History and Ourselves
- Greater Good Science Center
- Harvard's Making Caring Common Initiative
- Management Leadership for Tomorrow
- National Education Association
- National Association of Elementary School Principals
- National Association of Secondary School Principals
- National School Board Association
- Network for College Success
- New Leaders
- Policy Innovators in Education
- Teach For America
- Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
- Youth First
- Julie Mikuta, Chair
- Dr. Tequilla Brownie, Secretary
- Frances Messano, Treasurer
- Kira Orange Jones
- Allana Jackson
- Vince Roig
- Juan Sepulveda, Chair
- Lisette Nieves, Secretary
- David Nierenberg, Treasurer
- Eliza Leighton
- Luis Avila
- Anne Marie Burgoyne
In the News
Coronavirus and language barrier left her anxious. Then she got a phone call
By: Natalia E. Contreras
How schools can keep remote students from falling through the cracks
By: Orion Rummler
How student-teacher relations can prevent a lost school year
By: Matt Zalaznick
Mid-South nonprofit leaders demand action on police reform, economic justice
By: Brandon Richard
Nonprofit hosts book giveaway to highlight social justice, homegrown authors
By: Randall Newsome
Pre-K Teachers Are Making House Calls. It’s Helping Kids Succeed.
By: Christina Caron and Katherine Zoepf
Stand for Children hosts weekly Community Check-ins
By Brittani Moncreasse
Unpaid bills put free internet offers out of reach for some Indianapolis families
By: Stephanie Wang and Dylan Peers McCoy