|Work with others to strengthen your efforts.
What is a coalition?
Why are coalitions important?
Where to Start
Step 1. Identify Potential Local Allies
Contact your school district’s communications office to find out what your district is doing and what other local schools and community groups are working on public education issues. Request contact information.
Find out who’s working with children and families in your community. Consider local nonprofits, ECFE sites, faith-based organizations. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce and business groups to see what they’re doing to support public education. Find out how to contact them. Start with a phone call to see if there’s enough common ground, then follow-up with a one-on-one meeting. If there seems to be enough local interest, organize a coalition planning meeting.
Examples of groups with local chapters concerned about public education include:
A good resource for finding local nonprofits is the Nonprofits Yellow Pages maintained by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. It’s searchable by region, just be sure to check “All Categories” in Step 1 to get results.
You might also check with your local political party office to find your Senate District Chair.
Step 2. Get Together and Define your Goals
Address issues up front so that all perspectives can be brought to the table. Remember that this is a collaborative effort (that’s the whole point of a coalition!) and that means acknowledging and respecting differences, and being able to compromise.
Always designate specific tasks to be done and set benchmarks for completion of coalition activities.
It’s also important to determine how often, when and where your coalition will meet, and who will attend each meeting. Once these logistics are worked out, consider announcing your coalition to the public. By releasing a joint statement or holding a press conference, the coalition can make policy-makers and the general public aware of its existence.
Step 3. Take Action and Keep the Momentum Alive
Step 4. Build Alliances at the Regional and State Levels