School boards drive the WASB’s legislative advocacy. They really do.
Individual school boards and school board members provide the policy guidance and direction that informs the WASB’s legislative agenda and legislative advocacy efforts on your behalf. How do they do that?
Each January, during the WASB-WASDA-WASBO State Education Convention, a representative of each school board in the state, or delegate, meets to vote on resolutions in a gathering called the WASB Delegate Assembly. The resolutions adopted by these school board member delegates determine the WASB’s positions on policy issues and guide the WASB’s legislative advocacy efforts. Once adopted by delegates, these resolutions remain in force until amended or repealed. You can find all of these resolutions collected in the WASB Resolutions Adopted by Delegate Assemblies book.
But where do these resolutions come from? Mostly, they come from resolution ideas submitted by individual WASB member school boards just like yours.
Suppose, for example, your board thinks “seat time” requirements are outdated and that students should be able earn credits by demonstrating subject-matter mastery rather than by sitting in a class for a given number of hours. Or suppose your board thinks students’ financial literacy should be given greater emphasis. Or maybe it thinks state law governing firearms and expulsion should be revised to accommodate school-district-authorized student trap shooting clubs. The best way you can get the WASB working on your side is to offer a board resolution stating what you think the WASB’s position on the issue should be and why. It can be on any relevant topic.
We hope your board will consider drafting one or more resolutions to create a policy, or amend or eliminate a current policy. When you do, please include a clear, concise rationale to explain the intent of your resolution.
These board resolutions are due to the WASB by Sept. 15. A fillable .pdf form and instructions for submitting your board’s resolution to the WASB can be found here.
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Once these resolution ideas are submitted, the WASB’s Policy and Resolutions Committee, comprised of about 25 school board members appointed each year from across the state, evaluates them and determines which ones will advance to the next Delegate Assembly in January. Often, the committee will suggest a modification. While the committee has a strong say, it doesn’t have the final say; board member delegates do. That’s because resolutions turned down by the committee are still afforded an opportunity to be brought to the Delegate Assembly floor.
The 2017 WASB Resolutions Adopted by Delegate Assemblies book (“Resolutions Book”) is now posted online. Its contents and index have been updated to include actions by the January 2017 WASB Delegate Assembly. Printed hard copies of the book were mailed to each school board president, school district administrator and CESA administrator in early July.
We suggest that your board take some time to review the book to see if there are issue items that either aren’t covered by an existing resolution or that your board feels differently about. If so, bring them forward so we can discuss and debate them. That debate and discussion is what keeps the resolution process member-driven and gives every board an opportunity to put its imprint on the WASB’s legislative and policy agenda.
Watch the WASB Legislative Update Blog for more specifics on the resolutions ideas submitted by boards. We’ll post information on all the board resolutions we receive by the Sept. 15 deadline.