Why is public education advocacy important to you?
Public education advocacy is important to me because I want to keep the public more informed. Many legislators and news articles contain a lot of jargon that can be misinterpreted and often misunderstood. When I write my letters to the editor, I try to put what I say into words that everyone can understand. The public has a right to know where and how our tax money is being spent especially when it comes to education. I am a public school teacher and parent. Just like everyone else I want the best for my children and their education. Public education gets a bad rap too many times, and the public needs to know that we are here fighting for their children.
What has been your experience in dealing with legislators?
Every year I go to Indianapolis to lobby for public education through ISTA. When talking to legislators, I try to go at it with a parent’s perspective to first get them to talk to me. I have found that it’s frustrating talking to legislators because the number one answer I’ve received was “well I was told.” It seems that they are getting their information from another source instead of actually taking the time to talk to teachers, to parents, and to go into the schools. I have asked legislators numerous times to come to my classroom to visit with the students and see the miracles that we do each and every day. Public schools are literally making miracles each day, and it’s time legislators take notice!
What do you want parents to know about public education issues?
Parents need to know that these issues with the state and funding are real. I want parents to reach out to teachers and anyone involved with public education to find out how these education policies are affecting their children. Schools and teachers sometimes do a “too good of a job” masking the real struggle; therefore, parents don’t understand the whole picture. I also want parents to know that who they vote for has a deep impact on their child’s educational future.