Fall hits full swing on Sunday (its first official day) and with the start of that season so to comes the beginning of the advocating season.
The start of 2014 legislative session seems farther away than it is – about 3 ½ months is all – and now is the time to start advocating for K-12 education.
“Don’t wait until January to contact your legislators and develop a relationship with them or discuss a potential piece of legislation or share your district’s funding needs,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said. “It’s too late by then.”
“Get to legislators right now, build those relationships, have those conversations and stay connected.”
Next week Wade will hit the road for ASBSD Region Meetings, which consist of nine stops across the state covering a three-week span, to talk about past and future legislation, the association’s proposed Standing Positions and Resolutions and advocating for schools.
To help prepare you for advocating for K-12 education, Pogany has put together an Advocacy Tool Kit, which can be found on the Publications & Forms page at www.asbsd.org, to help board members and district officials maximize their advocating efforts.
Below is a three-month breakdown from the toolkit to help your advocating efforts this Fall:
- October: Use information from the ASBSD region meetings to discuss the association’s proposed resolutions and standing positions. Establish legislative priorities for your school district and gather the information you need to support them. Once you’ve come to an agreement, send a letter to your legislators to inform them of your official positions, and ask for their support.
- November: With Legislative Session just around the corner, invite your legislators to breakfast to discuss the upcoming session and your district’s priorities. Have any supporting information ready. It’s a good idea to any members of your local coalition, too. Make sure to ask them to drop you a note when they decide where they are going to hold their crackerbarrels, and ask them how they would prefer to be contacted during the session.
- December: Legislative session is a month away, and the press coverage is heating up. Keep informed by reading your local paper, and be prepared to respond with a letter-to-the-editor. Or, shape the debate by authoring an op-ed that clearly defines a key legislative priority and how it will impact your district. Also, be sure your district has appointed a representative for ASBSD’s Legislative Action Network.
“I hope all board members and administrators consider themselves advocates,” Pogany said. “Their ability to influence legislators in their district is vital to ensuring education gets the favor it needs.”
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