During this Fall’s regional meetings around the state, school board members in attendance provided feedback that they wanted help from the WASB with legislative advocacy. To this end, every month we will be providing general advocacy tips and ideas you can use.
A staple of any advocacy strategy is building relationships with lawmakers who represent your district, and this includes getting your them into your schools throughout the year.
This December consider inviting your legislators to a holiday program/concert taking place at your schools. Don’t know who your legislators are or want to double check? Click Here and enter your school’s address under “Find My Legislators.”
Remember: Whenever your legislators visit your district or its schools make sure to take pictures and post them on your district’s website and social media.
Reminder: It is never too late to adopt a board policy that establishes a legislative program if you haven’t already.
To assist you the WASB has two sample policies taken from the Legislative Advocacy Toolkit:
SAMPLE POLICY 1
The board operates within the bounds of state and federal laws that affect public education. If the board is to meet its responsibilities to the residents and students of the community, it must work vigorously for the passage of laws that advance the cause of student learning and achievement, of adequate school funding and of efficient and effective school operation.
To this end: The board will consider and act on state and federal legislative issues at its regular meetings.
The board will conduct an active program of communications with state and federal legislators.
The board president and superintendent shall regularly communicate information on district goals and needs to state and federal legislators and other government officials.
When appropriate, the board will work for the achievement of common legislative objectives through state associations, the National School Boards Association and with other groups.
SAMPLE POLICY 2
The board shall keep informed of pending legislation and shall actively communicate its concerns and make its positions known to elected representatives at both the state and federal level.
The board shall work with its legislative representatives (both state and federal), with the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, the National School Boards Association, and other concerned groups in developing an active legislative advocacy program.
The board shall establish a standing legislative committee. The committee shall be appointed by the board president and shall consist of three board members. The legislative committee shall consider proposed local, state, and federal legislation that affects the school district and make recommendations to the board. It shall also consider proposed changes in laws that affect education generally and, to the extent deemed advisable by the committee, make recommendations to the board.