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Evergreen Associates

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Education Week


School districts are increasingly  turning to Washington lobbyists like Robert M. Brooks, shown above at his office near Capitol Hill, to give them a helping hand in obtaining federal aid.

(Photo by James W. Prichard/Education Week)

In a May 29, 2002 article reporting the increase of school districts hiring lobbying firms, Education Week, a national education newspaper, featured Evergreen Associates and our president, Robert Brooks. Education Week is one of the country’s most recognized professional journals covering the field of elementary and secondary education.

The article chronicled Washington’s Medical Lake School District’s dilemma in acquiring funding for a new facility to serve the schoolchildren of the military families from Fairchild Air Force Base. For several years Medical Lake sought funds for a new school.  Local taxpayers were reluctant to fund a school on federal (non-taxable) property, and school district officials could not gain access to federal resources. As a result, military dependent students at Blair Elementary were forced to eat lunch in the hallways and endure leaking roofs.

In late 2000, Dr. Pam Veltri, (pictured below, with Representative George Nethercutt {R-WA}), became superintendent of Medical Lake School District.  Shortly thereafter, as Education Week writer Michelle R. Davis points out, “the 2,300-student district hired a lobbyist here in the nation’s capital, Robert M. Brooks... Before long, the Department of Defense budget included $6 million for a new school on the base...”  The project was included in the FY 2002 budget and groundbreaking occurred in August 2002.  Representative Nethercutt was the driving force behind Congress approving the Blair Elementary School project. Representative Nethercutt included it in the original House Defense Appropriations measure and overcame leadership efforts to cut 20% of the project’s funding in conference committee.

“This was one of those ideal projects where everyone worked together for a much needed result,” said Brooks.  “The school district and Dr. Veltri, Congressman Nethercutt, the Air Force, the state legislators, everyone was needed to make this happen and everyone came through.”



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