How Code.org Maximizes Advocacy in Computer Science Education

Code.org is dedicated to giving every student in every school the opportunity to learn computer programming. The organization focuses on a range of computer science policy issues including: graduation requirements, teacher certification processes, and funding for professional development. Staying up-to-date on computer science legislation across 50 states was a challenge. Learn how Code.org filtered through legislative noise to create a strategic government affairs plan.

Challenge – Nationwide Legislative Coverage

How do you proactively engage legislation nationwide? And what is the best way to manage knowledge across your team?

“We were hearing about things secondhand, sometimes after a bill had already moved, which wasn’t great for us. I was also getting 15 emails per day from different state sites, when I only cared about one or two bills, the process was maddening,” said Amy Hirotaka, Director of State Government Affairs at Code.org.

The team needed a solution to enable them to share knowledge, stay abreast of computer science legislation, and develop a proactive strategy.

Solution – Better Intelligence & Knowledge Sharing

FiscalNote’s Government Relationship Platform (GRM) helps Code.org find and track bills, as well as manage response efforts, coordinate legislator and staff outreach, and identify what’s working. GRM also enables the organization to have a system of record about all of the actions they have taken on key issues (including: phone calls, emails, and meetings) that the entire team has access to.

Results – Proactive Government Affairs Strategy

The GRM platform helps ensure that Code.org has a strong voice for computer science policy. GRM also enables Hirotaka and her team to focus on advocacy and be more effective in their efforts.

“We never had the bandwidth to focus on STEM bills before, which are often in line with our goals. [GRM] allows us to track this field for the first time,” she said.

Another example of improved efficiency came late in a session, when a controversial state-level computer science bill was introduced.

“I was able to show my boss that the House sponsor of the bill had not been effective in passing prior education bills, and had poor scores for bipartisan support. We decided we could stop our work on that bill, which saved us time and resources,” Hirotaka said.

GRM helps Code.org’s government relations team make data-driven decisions, share knowledge, and proactively influence computer science legislation.