On Tuesday July 29th, the CER Interns had a unique opportunity to meet with Katherine Haley, policy advisor to John Boehner, the Speaker of the House. As we walked through the marble halls of the United States Capitol building, the echoes of our group’s excitement bounced off the walls. We marveled at the architecture and muttered a continuous, “Wow this is so beautiful.” Our excitement only escalated as we were escorted into a conference room where we waited for Ms. Haley.
Ms. Haley has been working on Capitol Hill for 12 years, and has been working with Speaker Boehner for more than five of those years. Prior to her life on Capitol Hill, Ms. Haley spent her undergraduate years taking pre-med classes in anticipation of pursuing a degree in medicine. After graduation, she decided to spend her summer applying to medical school and interning on the hill in Washington, D.C. Ms. Haley said it was during this summer that she had her “ah-ha” moment, at which point she realized she wanted to begin her career in policy. Ms. Haley went on to describe what she has learned from working in Washington, D.C., such as how networking is a crucial aspect of being here and how it helped her move along from one job to the next.
We discussed the policy that Ms. Haley has seen go through her office regarding education, such as the No Child Left Behind Act, and the more recent Student Success Act. One of her focuses in this position has been changing policy to consolidate the current funding for elementary and secondary schools into fewer funding streams. She said that this may be a bold move, but it will allow schools to be dealt with on a more local level.
I found it particularly interesting when Ms. Haley