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Effective Advocacy Tips

The foundation of successful advocacy is knowledge of the legislative process. Advocates need to focus their energy on the people making the important decisions when they are being made. School board members serve important roles in both ensuring passage of bills that are favorable to public schools and in defeating bills that work to the detriment of the public school system.

A Legislative Advocacy Toolkit is available for school board members to use during the 2013-14 legislative session to help you advocate more effectively. Download a copy or contact the WASB at info@wasb.org or by calling 1-877-705-4422 for a free copy. More resources for the 2013-14 legislative session are available on the State Issues and Federal Issues pages.

2011-13 State Budget Advocacy

While school board members and administrators are immersed in education issues daily, the average person has many things competing for their time. As school board members and community leaders, you must take the initiative to tell your district's story, so your public is reassured you are on top of the situation and doing all you can to mitigate the damage of the state's deep cuts to state aid and local revenue limit authority.

The developments of the last month in Madison have heightened the public's interest in issues related to education. Take advantage of the situation to tell your district's story. Use this worksheet help organize your thoughts around the key issues you want to highlight: how has your board worked to find efficiencies in your operation?; how do the "tools" provided in Gov. Walker's budget repair bill affect your budget – will they cover the loss of aid and revenue limit reduction?; what percentage of your budget comes from state aid and the local property tax levy?; what types of cuts have been made over the years due to state-imposed revenue limits? This is important information and will be useful in explaining to a variety of audiences your district's budget situation.

When you've got the document finished, put it on the website, put it in staff mailboxes, send it home with students in "backpack mail," use it as a reference when speaking to service clubs, and provide it you your local media. This document will serve as a collection of your key message points. Use it widely, frequently and stay on message!

 

 
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