Advanced Coursework Coalition Advocates for Low-Income AP and IB Students
Advanced Coursework Coalition Advocates for Low-Income AP and IB StudentsKaren Lanning, Senior Director, Government Relations
Last month, the College Board led a coalition of advanced coursework supporters for Title IV Advocacy Day, urging strong federal funding for low-income Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) students in the FY2017 budget. The coalition (pictured above) included:
- Derrick Simmons, a former AP student who received federal funding and now teaches in D.C.
- James Brown, Executive Director of the STEM Education Coalition
- Karen Lanning, Senior Director of Federal Relations at the College Board
- Angie Odom, AP Calculus teacher from Springfield, MO
- Jennifer Hernandez from the Military Child Education Coalition
- Paul Campbell, Head of Regional Development at IB
- Trevor Packer, Senior Vice President of AP and Instruction at the College Board
During meetings with key House and Senate legislators in Washington, D.C., coalition members discussed the critical role federal funding has played in expanding access to advanced courses for low-income students and urged support for Title IV, a new block grant added under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that provides funds for students to take AP and IB exams.
Thanks to federal funding, AP and IB participation by low-income students has grown by 900 percent since the funding began in 1998, and now more than 500,000 AP and IB students benefit from this support. This access to rigorous courses—and college credit while in high school—can make all the difference, explained coalition member Derrick Simmons.
“AP changed the trajectory of my life,” said Simmons, who now teaches math at Eastern High School in D.C. “I took eight AP Exams using federal funding, which helped me to graduate on time from Howard University and go on to get my master’s degree. Now I encourage my students to take advantage of AP and the opportunities it provides."
The coalition met with staff from10 key Congressional Members’ offices, including Senate Education Appropriations Committee Chairman Blunt (R-MO), and shared insights about how federal funding has opened doors to college opportunities for millions of low-income students.
“AP credit is so important for all students, but especially for low-income students to get a head start on their college,” said AP Calculus teacher Angie Odom. “AP credit allows students to earn college credit at little or no cost, thereby reducing the amount of student debt they will accumulate over their lifetime."
As Congress works to finalize the FY2017 budget by the April 28 deadline, this coalition will continue to advocate for strong Title IV funding for low-income AP and IB students.
For more information about the impact of ESSA on federal AP funding, visit https://professionals.collegeboard.org/testing/states-local-governments/new-education-policies/essa-federal-funding-ap.