What you need to know to advocate for your schools.
Advocacy means having a voice at the places where decisions are being made, whether it be at your child’s school, at the district office or a local school board meeting, or at the State Capitol.
Advocacy is about empowerment…
- It means speaking on behalf of yourself or another.
- It means defending how you feel about something.
- It means standing up for what you believe in.
Anyone can advocate, but to be an effective advocate you need to:
- Know the Issues – Learn everything you can about your subject.
- Know the Parties – Elected officials listen to their constituents, the people who elected them.
- Know the Process – Learn about the process and the different ways your voice matters at different times.
- Know the Rules – There is a common misconception that nonprofit organizations cannot participate in lobbying and election activities. It’s simply not true! (MANY parent groups are nonprofits.)
In the 2001 legislative session, Minnesota parents saw rural, urban and suburban districts being pitted against one another to compete for insufficient resources. Learn more about the history of Parents United and watch our video to see why we believe it’s essential to build a strong statewide voice to support our public schools.
An American imperative: Public Education – Public education means that a wide range of decision making resides at the community level through the operation of locally elected school boards and through other avenues of direct citizen participation in the schools. Public decision making also occurs through the election of state and congressional representatives, as well as the various publicly accountable agencies designated to carry out specific school functions, National School Boards Association Center for Public Education.
Why We Still Need Public Schools: Public Education for the Common Good – A short history of public schools in America, Center on Education Policy.
Action for All: The Public’s Responsibility for Public Education – A national survey on public commitment to public education, Public Education Network and Education Week.
“Democracy doesn’t work without citizen activism and participation, starting at the community.”