Encompassing the education continuum

After 20 years as a nonpartisan leader in K-12 education policy and political leadership, The Hunt Institute has evolved to broaden its policy focus to encompass the full continuum, from prenatal care and early childhood to postsecondary education and the workforce. We are unapologetic about the importance of equity—in educational access, quality, and opportunity—and it is at the core of the work we do.

Specifically, we focus on five main areas:

In alignment with our core beliefs, The Hunt Institute creates meaningful platforms to engage policymakers across our work.

The Hunt Institute has 20 years in the Education Policy space.

The Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows network consists of over 100 senior state-level leaders from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

We’ve scaled our state legislators retreat model across 5 states, engaging over 1,000 legislators.

We provide technical assistance for 27 Early Childhood State Teams.

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Early Childhood

Early Childhood

The Hunt Institute recognizes the special role of the early years, birth to eight, in supporting the long-term educational and life success of our nation’s children. Early childhood content is infused across all of The Institute’s core programming, exposing senior-level state elected leaders to high-quality early learning content.

In addition, The Hunt Institute hosts an annual Early Childhood Leadership Summit and provides ongoing technical assistance to a growing network of state early childhood teams as well as to early childhood caucus leaders from across the nation.

Learn More About our Early Childhood Programs



The Hunt Institute strives to include teachers’ voices in all its programming so their experience and expertise can ground critical policy conversations around recruitment, retention, and teacher pay. By fostering a dialogue between policymakers and teachers, The Institute ensures that state policies are undergirded by the daily realities of education.

In addition, The Hunt Institute worked in partnership with the Office of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper to facilitate the Developing a Representative and Inclusive Vision for Education (DRIVE) Task Force, charged with advising the Governor on strategies that would address matters of equity in education and inclusion in education in North Carolina, with a specific focus on increasing the diversity of the educator workforce.

In 2021, The Institute received a $1.25 million grant to support a campaign to add one million new teachers of color and increase the number of school leaders of color by 30,000 by 2030. The Institute is working with a broad coalition, including TNTP, The Education Trust, Men of Color in Education Leadership (MCEL), New Leaders, and Teach Plus to support policy change at the federal, state, and community level.

Learn More About the DRIVE Task Force

School Leaders

School Leaders

The Hunt Institute works to support policymakers’ understanding of the importance of school leadership by highlighting best practices and providing opportunities for direct engagement with school leaders and experts in the field of principal preparation and school leadership. Highly effective principals are critical to driving student achievement, and school leaders are estimated to account for one-fourth of school-based effects on student achievement, making them second only to teachers. In order to ensure that our schools have a strong supply of dynamic leaders who are adequately prepared for the demands of 21st-century schools, there is a growing need for innovation and improvement in principal recruitment, preparation, and professional development.

Read Our Principal Preparation Study

Standards & Assessments

Standards & Assessments

The Hunt Institute has long championed the case for standards and assessments. At the 2007 Governors Education Symposium (GES), conversations spurred consideration of the need for common, high-quality standards nationwide, and at the 2009 GES The Institute made the case. Following that meeting, governors across the country announced their commitment to new standards and The Institute supported the coordination efforts between dozens of partner organizations to support implementation.

Since then, The Hunt Institute has continued to highlight the importance of high-quality and meaningful standards for all students in every school across the country, as well as the necessity for states to support districts in implementing those standards. The Institute is committed to working for standards and assessments nationwide that not only provide rigorous and equitable educational opportunities for students, but also give teachers and schools the supports they need to think creatively and in the best interest of their individual students when it comes to implementation.

Learn More About Standards & Assessments Change Agents

Postsecondary & the Workforce

Postsecondary & the Workforce

The Hunt Institute supports workforce development through completion of postsecondary programs. These later stages of the education continuum are vitally important steps for ensuring all members of society are able to secure good jobs, enjoy a high quality of life, and support their families. As such, The Institute administers two higher education leadership development programs – the Complete Tennessee Leadership Institute (CTLI) and ElevateNC: Higher Education that cultivate champions of higher education. In addition, The Institute has used its Advisory Committee model to help develop broad stakeholder consensus on higher education policy priorities for state leaders who seek to develop multi-year agendas.

Learn More About our Postsecondary Leaders Programs