Grassroots lobbying can be highly effective, and most legislators are open to engaging with advocates who understand their stakeholders’ challenges and opportunities.
Charter school board members make effective advocates
Traditional public districts and schools are well-represented at the Statehouse – not only during the biennial budget process, but throughout each two-year General Assembly. Unfortunately, far too many charter schools opt not to engage in advocating for public policy aimed at improving educational opportunities for their students.
While some charter school operators and sponsors engage lobbyists to represent their interests at the Statehouse, their priorities can be perceived as focused on self-interest – particularly those that are not structured as not-for-profits.
But charter school board members, who serve with little or no compensation, are perceived to have more noble motives which positions them well to act as advocates before lawmakers. In many cases, the hesitation to act is simply a lack of familiarity with the legislative process and unique Statehouse culture and protocols.
There are many ways in which charter school board members can engage including:
- Writing and submitting compelling letters to the editor and opinion editorials explaining and promoting their legislative priorities for print media (both major and community newspapers);
- Developing compelling communications tools to share with policy makers (particularly leadership and those who serve on key relevant legislative committees);
- Meeting with legislators and/or legislative staff (particularly leadership and those who serve on key relevant committees); and,
- Testifying as “interested parties,” or in support of or in opposition to, proposed provisions of legislation and/or their own legislative priorities.
Grassroots lobbying can be highly effective, and most legislators are open to engaging with advocates who understand their stakeholders’ challenges and opportunities far better than policy makers themselves who can’t be expected to be experts on any and every public policy issue.
So, when is the best time to develop and implement an advocacy plan?
There’s no time like the present, especially at the beginning of the biennial budget process! Contact Adkins & Company to help you maneuver through the process. Now is the time!