Why is public education advocacy important to you?
For my kids, for all kids.As an advocate, what accomplishment have you found most satisfying?
Public Education advocacy is important to me, because it’s not just about my 5 children, it’s about children in every home, teachers, and communities.
Public Education advocacy can be as grassroots as a few people around a kitchen table asking, “How can we do something?” to a national conference of advocates. There is a role for anyone who wants to help.
I am proud of what I was able to accomplish in my community. I couldn’t have done it without making so many friends and co-advocates. We came together and accomplished something great. We took back our community and our schools. After a 4+ year process, I am happy to say, we now have in place, a pro-public schools school board.What are some of your frustrations or obstacles that you have met or overcome?
I find it so satisfying, when I know I can share my experience and help other parent groups looking to make a change or just make an impact in their community.
Apathy. Sometimes we are fighting alongside other advocates, thinking everyone is with us, but then we realize our everyday contacts; friends, co-workers, PTO friends, team parents, book club, and others, aren’t in the fight with us, but rather look to those of us, labeled advocates or activists, to fight for our schools.What keeps you going?
When people who weren’t aware all of a sudden see the light, so to speak. I had to realized that as frustrated as the comment, “I had no idea” made me, I needed to welcome them to the fight, no matter when they joined. They are here now is what matters.What do you want parents to know about public education issues?
Knowing what can be accomplished, seeing our success in our community means it is possible everywhere.
That issues of today will affect our children in the long term. Nothing moves quickly in education. If you have a kindergartner, the issues we are working on today may not be resolved until that child reaches high school.How can parents get involved in advocating for public schools?
There are issues that have an impact on your child, whether it’s a third grade reading guarantee, special education, high stakes testing, gifted identification, recess time, art, music, physical education.
At a local level, start by attending your school board meetings, then go to people you see there and ask questions.Why are public schools important to everyone in a community?
At a state level, find active advocacy groups, and read news articles, blogs from activists, attend meetings or conferences.
At a national level, read, watch the trends, find other activists, and attend a national conference.
As always, use social media to find your way to like-minded parents, teachers, and advocates.
Schools bind a community. They are the heart of the community. Schools bring so many different people together for a common cause; giving our children a future. Many families move into a community for the schools, it’s important that we continue to make sure our public schools are a place for all kids and families, with whom a community can grow.