Column: Executive Director's Desk
Is SES Dead or Alive? (and do you care?)
By: Steve Pines, EIA Executive Director
Published: April 30, 2011
Many EIA members earn a material part of their company’s revenue from SES contracts with school districts. Yet a shockingly small number of members have contributed their hard-earned money to help finance the lobbying campaign to salvage this business. Yes, there will always be people who believe and hope that someone else including the “big guys” will do heavy-lifting. But this effort demands a more comprehensive effort.
Let me very clear: the threat to end SES as soon as the upcoming school year is imminent if Secretary Duncan exercises his waiver authority in the next two months. The Department is under tremendous pressure to give local school districts relief from NCLB mandates, including SES, that may free-up federal funds for local priorities.
But this outcome is not pre-ordained. We do have a real chance to neutralize the waiver threat and preserve your SES business for several more years.
Working in close coordination with our allied advocacy group Tutor Our Children, we have enlisted strong Congressional leaders, Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate, who are telling the Administration to back-off from issuing SES waivers. We are mounting legal research to question the very basis of SES waivers. We are building grassroots support for SES in targeted Congressional districts to bring home the value-add of free tutoring for low-income children. And we are drafting our own SES bill that will be introduced in the Congressional committees currently re-writing ESEA that will have bi-partisan advocates.
All of these efforts are focused on first saving and then improving tutoring services for kids and the industry that provides these important services.
We can win. But winning requires an immediate investment in the EIA SES Coalition that supports the advocacy efforts outlined above. Participation in the Coalition gives you a direct voice in shaping the future of the industry. Please get involved today by joining online at www.educationinustry.org or by calling me at 800-252-3280. There is no other time for action then now. Thank you in advance for your support.
About the Executive Director
Steve Pines has served as the Executive Director of the Education Industry Association since January 2004. Prior to joining EIA, Mr. Pines was a Vice-President for Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc. (1993-2003) managing workforce development services and education programs for at-risk youth. During this time, Mr. Pines also developed a new business channel with two and four-year colleges for developmental education services, as well as in the corporate training area. Mr. Pines worked for eight years as a Deputy Director at the Enterprise Foundation, working to revitalize low income neighborhoods nationwide. His initial work in education and employment policy spanned positions at the National Alliance of Business, the National Association of Counties, and the United States Department of Labor- Employment and Training Administration, where he worked during the Carter Administration. Pines has a MBA from Southern Illinois University, a MA in education psychology from the University of Connecticut, and a BA from Hobart College.