Attend a Committee Meeting


Parents: Have a Strong Presence at the Capitol!

The legislators who sit on the four education committees represent ALL Minnesota children.  It’s important for them to know how concerned parents and community members are about the issues impacting our schools.One of the best ways to visibly show your support is to attend a committee meeting.  Even better, invite others to go with you and, if you can, attend several.

Take Action

Organize parents to attend one or more education committee meetings.  You only need 3-5 people—not a bus load—to do this! So call a friend and spend a few hours at the Capitol watching the process!

Step 1.  Identify a date when you can go.  Generally speaking, the committees follow the same schedule from week-to-week throughout the session.  You can use these general days and times to organize a Capitol visit, but do put together a list of people planning to attend and confirm the meeting hasn’t been cancelled or rescheduled right before you leave because committee meetings can change with little advance notice.  See At the Capitol for committee schedules and links to up-to-date information from the Minnesota State Legislature.

Step 2.  Contact the elected officials who Represent Your Schools.  At the very least, let your elected officials know this is important enough for you to take the time to attend a committee meeting, and if it works out, ask for a one-on-one meeting with your legislator while you’re there.

Step 3.  Contact Parents United.  Would you like a “guide” for your Capitol visit?  Do you have questions?  E-mail Mary Cecconi at mary@parentsunited.org or call (651) 214-6565.

Step 4.  Go back.  Once you’ve done this, you’ll see how easy it is!  The session generally lasts about 20 weeks (usually there’s a break around Easter).  Bring a group once a week, every other week, once a month, or once during the session.  No matter how far away you are, it’s important to come at least once during the session.

Groups that are closer:
Remember, it’s much harder for outstate groups to get to Saint Paul!  Add an extra visit or two to your schedule to show your support for outstate parents and schools!

If you go…

  1. You don’t have to be on time or stay for the whole meeting.  Legislators come and go, and so can you.  Just do so quietly.
  2. Turn off your cell phone!  You’ll be embarrassed if it rings (or set it to vibrate and walk out of the room before answering).
  3. You don’t have to bring a crowd.  Go with a friend or two or contact Mary Cecconi at mary@parentsunited.org or (651) 214-6565 to arrange to meet other parents.
  4. Have a question?  Ask it!  Generally there are pages available in the committee rooms.  Write a note to a committee member, put the member’s name on it, and the page will deliver it to the table.  If possible, the committee member will raise your question for you.
  5. Parking is easier than you think!  Just bring lots of quarters.

Additional Resources

  • Know the Process – Learn about the central role committees play in the legislative process.
  • Important Committees – It’s important to monitor the work of the Education Committees and be in contact with the committee members.
  • Legislators in the Schools – Invite your elected officials to visit your child’s school.  Ideally, parents will host the event, but work closely with the principal and other staff.