1 2 3 4 5

Click the ballons to learn more!

CHOOSE YOUR ISSUE

What policy changes would strengthen our public schools? Reflect on your experience in the classroom, then talk with other teachers, students and families to develop practical solutions.

  • Who?

    YOU can be the catalyst! Make it a team effort by joining up with other teacher leaders and advocates. Start at your school, a union meeting or with a group like Educators 4 Excellence.

  • How?

    Reflect on what’s working in your school that others could replicate and what your school needs to help all students succeed.

  • What does it take?

    Confidence to put your ideas forward and courage to stand up for what you believe is best for kids.

  • When?

    June–November

    when the Legislature isn’t in session, is best. Use this time to invite legislators to your school and to plan your advocacy ideas.

meet with legislators

Schedule meetings with legislators to discuss your education concerns and ideas—and ask them about theirs. Your feedback can help shape the policies they’re working on and they may be willing to sponsor legislation based on your recommendations.

  • Who?

    Meet with members of both the House and Senate, prioritizing those who represent you, serve on education-related committees, hold leadership positions or have demonstrated an interest in your topic.

  • How?

    Call to make an appointment and show up prepared! Outline your ideas, gather supporting facts and share any specific requests.

  • When?

    december–march

    is best. The legislative session starts in January or February and bills must be introduced by February or March.

RALLY SUPPORT

Once a bill is introduced, things can move very quickly! A hearing will be scheduled, the committee will vote and if approved, the bill will advance to the full Legislature and finally to the governor’s desk. To build momentum around your issue with legislators, focus on building a broad base of support.

  • how?

    Spread the word by writing a letter to the editor or blog post, speaking at a community meeting, forming a coalition, posting on social media or launching a petition. Encourage people to contact their legislators about your issue. Be respectful and publicly thank the legislators advancing your cause.

  • When?

    February–May

    is the best time to get your message out—and frequently. People need to hear your message several times for it to stick!

TESTIFY AT THE CAPITOL

Committee hearings are a focal point at the Capitol and give you a chance to testify and share your story! To better gauge the merits of the bill, committee members need to understand all the benefits and pitfalls from the individuals and organizations that will be impacted. As a teacher, YOU are an expert on education legislation and your voice has tremendous value.

  • how?

    Committee hearings are scheduled a few days or weeks in advance. To stay on top of the schedule, watch the legislative calendar or sign up for email updates. When you see your issue come up, contact the committee staff member and let them know you’d like to testify! Find more on the nuts and bolts here.

  • what does it take?

    Passion and a personal story. You’ll have just a few minutes so prepare bullet points to make your case, along with a real world example of the bill’s impact on schools and students.

  • When?

    february–april

    Heads up: The shear volume of bills heard each year means that there can be delays on the day of a hearing. Be flexible and ready to wait for your turn to speak!

ELECT GREAT CANDIDATES

To make a deep impact on education policy, you can also work to elect legislators who share your goals and values.

  • how?

    First, get registered! Then, vet the candidates by reading up and attending candidate events—a great chance to hear their positions on education issues—and to share yours!

  • When?

    spring, summer, fall

    From caucuses to primaries to general election campaign season, there are many opportunities to learn and get involved. Want to host a candidate forum or house party? They’re usually most effective in spring, summer and early fall.

Bringing the Classroom
to the Capitol

CHOOSE YOUR ISSUE

learn more

meet with legislators

learn more

RALLY SUPPORT

learn more

TESTIFY AT THE CAPITOL

learn more

ELECT GREAT CANDIDATES

learn more