We are continuing on our 14 Days of Advocacy by addressing key legislative issues. As many of you know, we usually have MSBA Day at the Capitol to visit with legislators and share our stories. This session, we can’t be there physically, but we can be there virtually. Sometimes we may feel like we are preaching to the choir — and perhaps we are. But, we have an unbelievable choir in our 2,000 school board members. Each voice contributes to the greater good. Please partner with MSBA to be effective advocates as school board members and make sure our voice is heard at the state Capitol.
If we all join in the effort, we have the potential to be incredibly effective advocates. Why? It is not because of our creative ideas (although we are a really creative bunch). It is not because of the merit of our positions (although they are very noble). It is not because of our great vision for public schools (although that is what motivates us each day as we do the work). It IS for our students and their future.
Write an email or make a phone call. Encourage your local legislators to close the equity gap in public education. Choose one or two ways to advocate and encourage others in your network and community to share, too. Below are some ideas to include in your correspondence or call.
Support closing the equity gap by:
- Fully funding the Teacher Development and Evaluation (TDE) and Q Comp as one program following the recommendations of the 2014 Teacher Evaluation Work Group. Full funding would ensure each school district has access to the $260 per student. Expansion of Q Comp funding would help ensure a high-quality teacher in every classroom.
- Providing an agricultural property tax credit for property owners. Current inequity exists with school bond tax burden on farm land due to rising property values. An agricultural tax credit provides tax fairness.
- Adjusting and updating equalization for school district levies where the formulas have not kept pace with inflation and property values.
- Closing the digital divide by expanding fair and equal access to broadband at home and school to meet the academic requirements and for the 21st century workforce.