Thursday, April 28, 2016

Legislators in the Classroom … Please!

I published a blog on April 5 in which I offered a glimpse at a program to be offered this October called School Priority Month (SPM’16).  Specifically, Make Education a Priority (MEaP) envisions this program as an opportunity every two years, just before the legislative session in January of the following year, to invite local and statewide elected officials into our classrooms to experience firsthand the successes being achieved in Texas public schools. 

With the rhetoric around school choice already a topic of conversation, as well as the anticipated Supreme Court decision regarding the school finance lawsuit, we can expect to see public education as a focal point in the 85th Legislature.  And now is the time for those of us who are public education advocates to start the conversation with our elected officials.  

SPM’16 is but one aspect of what should be a very concerted communications effort at all levels of government.  Garnering the support of our elected officials, most of whom acknowledge the schools as the core fabric of the community, is critical in meeting the needs of the nearly 5.3 million Texas public education students.

Speaking of the school finance ruling, Kristi Hassett, Lewisville ISD trustee, posted an excellent blog on the options that the Supreme Court has at their disposal.  Here blog can be found by clicking here.

SPM’16 will focus on the classroom as well as co/extracurricular activities that provide developmental and growth opportunities for the nearly 5.3 million students in our public education system.   MEaP also envisions a student roundtable as part of the day’s activities, an opportunity for students to share why public education is critical to their personal development.  Recognizing that elected officials may have only a limited time on a campus, the program will focus on breadth of message that supports the need for a quality education system.

The success of SPM’16 will rely on a coordinated and committed effort on the part of advocates across the state, starting with locally elected school board trustees.  There is strength in numbers but only if we exercise the right to demonstrate our commitment to Texas public education children.  SPM'16 will be an outstanding opportunity to pull this messaging together and to demonstrate not only why our students need the support of our elected officials, but to also acknowledge the tremendous work done every day on our local campuses. 

It’s up to us to ensure that those elected to serve us understand the need and importance to Make Education a Priority.

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