Common Sense Media in San Francisco has announced the launch of a national effort to build an advocacy movement among parents and teachers aimed at making children and their education the nation's top priority.
With more than $20 million in initial funding from Salesforce chair and CEO Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne; TPG Capital co-founder Bill Price and his wife, Eva; the Emerson Collective; Farrallon Capital Management founder Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor; television producer Marcy Carsey; and others, Common Sense Kids Action will work to advance policies designed to ensure that every child has access to high-quality early childhood education, digital learning experiences, and broadband technology.
To that end, the campaign will launch five initiatives in 2015 focused on legislative and political activities in California, Washington, D.C., and a dozen other states: a California First agenda that includes the launch of a state-based ConnectED program and advocacy in support of legislation aimed at enhancing student privacy, early childhood services, and children's health; Let's Invest large in Youth (LILY), a policy franchising apparatus focused on replicating successful California state legislation in other states; a Right Start Commission that will work to improve early childhood programs in California; efforts to expand career pathway programs tied to local workforce development needs; and advocacy on behalf of efforts to improve science education, including the development of resources about climate change and environmental justice.
"To ensure America remains the world's economic leader, we must invest in the education, health, and overall well-being kids need to succeed," said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media. "This begins with making sure that every American child has the right start in life and access to quality early education opportunities. It means we must wire every classroom and every home for high-quality broadband so that all teachers and parents have the technology tools they need to improve learning and get kids focused on college and career. And it means ensuring all kids are held to high standards that reflect the complex demands of the world they are going to inherit. Common Sense Kids Action is working to ensure that no decision is made in this country without thinking about children and their education first."