Articles tagged with advocacy

NSBA’s President discusses school board advocacy on Education Talk Radio

David A. Pickler

David A. Pickler, President of the National School Boards Association and member of Tennessee’s Shelby County Board of Education, was a guest on Education Talk Radio earlier this week. Pickler discussed school board advocacy and his experiences from traveling across the country meeting school board leaders.

Listen to the interview:

Popular Education Internet Radio with EduTalk on BlogTalkRadio
Alexis Rice|February 26th, 2014|Categories: School Boards, Multimedia and Webinars, Leadership|Tags: , , , , |

NSBA reviews RTTT proposal for school districts

The National School Boards Association is reviewing the U.S. Department of Education’s draft plan for a new Race to the Top (RTTT) district competition. The proposal would send nearly $400 million directly to eligible school districts, regardless of whether their states applied for the RTTT state grants.

The agency announced its proposal on May 22 and will take public comments through June 8.

The program would give grants up to $25 million to school districts that have at least 2,500 students and at least 40 percent of students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch.

The proposal includes a requirement for school board evaluations as a contingency of a school district receiving funds. Reginald Felton, NSBA’s Assistant Executive Director for Congressional Relations, said that NSBA would not favor a comprehensive evaluation process, but would rather see a system based on indicators of support for increased student performance and focusing on specific responsibilities rather than a board’s overall performance.

Read more about the  proposal on the Education Department’s website.



Joetta Sack-Min|May 24th, 2012|Categories: School Boards, Race to the Top (RTTT)|Tags: , |

NA webinar illustrates collective power of one

NSBA lobbyists are hard at work explaining to Congress the many challenges facing local school boards—and how federal policy should be shaped to help local officials do their jobs better.

But members of Congress also care what their constituents have to say, so it’s vitally important that individual school board members make their voices heard by communicating personally with their elected representatives.

That was the message of NSBA’s advocacy team, which offered a briefing on federal education policymaking during Wednesday’s National Affiliate webinar, “The Power of One: What You Can Do to Change What is Happening on Capitol Hill.”

“We can’t do it alone,” moderator Kathleen Branch, NSBA’s director of national advocacy service programs, told participants early in the webinar. “We need you to join us … to become a resource for your members of Congress.”

To prepare school board members for that task, members of NSBA’s advocacy team offered a summary of legislative and regulatory efforts in the nation’s capital—and how those efforts could impact local school districts.

One of the most important legislative efforts under way today is the long-overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, said Reginald Felton, assistant executive director for congressional relations.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, lawmakers are tackling the reauthorization through a series of bills, and one promising proposal would give local school officials more flexibility and authority over the use of federal education funding, Felton reported.

Less promising was the recent passage of the Empowering Parents Through Quality Charter Schools Act, which NSBA argued was approved without sufficient review and raises concerns about how much accountability will be demanded of charter schools.

Lawmakers also are talking about consolidating several federal education programs, which is not necessarily a bad thing, Felt said. But there also is a move to expand competitive block grants, at the expense of categorical programs.

That concerns NSBA because many school systems do not have the resources to compete with larger or more affluent districts in writing grant proposals.

It’s important that NSBA and local school boards continue their efforts to influence Congress and shape policy that’s in the best interest of local schoolchildren, Felton said. “We continue to lobby members of Congress, but we’re pleased when you come to Washington and help that dialogue—or you meet with members of Congress when they’re home in your communities. We need to keep the pressure on.”

Later, Deborah Rigsby, NSBA’s director of federal legislation, briefed webinar participants about the debate on Capitol Hill over the federal budget—and the need to urge Congress to protect funding for education.

“For 2011, K-12 programs were cut by $849 million,” she said. “But they were already underfunded, so we don’t want to go [through another round] of addition cuts for fiscal 2012.”

Finally, Lucy Gettman, director of federal programs, talked about the potential impact of the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids—last year’s reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act—and new regulations for school meal programs that could force local school districts to raise meal prices.

At least one school system already is looking to raise the price of school milk by as much as 25 cents, she says. “What we’re very concerned about at NSBA is the impact on children and families who can ill afford a price increase [in school meals] but, conversely, about the impact on school districts … if districts are required to supplement or offset a price increase with their own state and local funds.”

Concluding the webinar, Branch yet again encouraged listeners to become more involved in lobbying federal policymakers, and she shared a number of resources that NSBA makes available for board members who are new to education advocacy work. And she encouraged board members to participate in the National Affiliate Advocacy Network.

 Finally, she said, if board members aren’t certain what to say about today’s complex policy issues, they can just call her. “That is what NSBA is here for.”

Del Stover|September 22nd, 2011|Categories: School Boards, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Leadership|Tags: , , , , , , |

September issue of ASBJ now online

It’s goes without saying that school board members are public education’s greatest advocates. But just in case you needed more evidence, thumb through the pages of the September issue of ASBJ, which is devoted to the many and powerful ways school board members influence and fight for schools and students.

Included in the package are examples and profiles of local governance  at its best. Prepare to be inspired and invigorated by the great work that can be accomplishished when people have the heart, the will and the tools to make a difference.

Naomi Dillon|September 2nd, 2011|Categories: NSBA Publications, Board governance, Leadership, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |
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