Four Steps to Becoming an Education Advocate!
Step 1. Join a Group
There are hundreds of education advocacy groups across the State. Many are on Facebook, but some are also email lists or blogs. Click here for a complete list of groups by district. Click here for statewide groups.
Step 2. Contact your Child’s School
Even though many aspects of education reform are beyond the control of individual teachers or schools, it’s important to maintain a regular, open dialogue with your child’s teacher(s) and administrator(s) to make sure they are aware of your concerns.
Step 3. Contact your School Board
School Board members are elected by constituents of each district, and have an obligation to protect public schools. Let them know how education reform is affecting your child and your school and what you would like the board to do to fix it. Even though many decisions are made at the State level, School Boards need to be aware of what their constituents are concerned about so they can make the right decisions.
Click here for contact information for your district. Email board members frequently. Send them articles and research that speak to your concerns. Make suggestions for improvement. Request in-person meetings with individual board members if you are able. If possible, attend School Board meetings and speak directly to the board. Most boards meet on at least a monthly basis, and their meetings are open to the public and posted on their web site. Inquire in advance about speaking procedures such as the amount of time you will be allotted to speak, or if you need to arrive early to sign up to speak.
Step 4. Contact State Leaders
Similar to School Board members, State legislators are elected by Florida residents and are supposed to represent their constituents in the decisions they make. It’s important to contact them as often as possible – when they are in session in January/February, but year round as well. Email the elected officials who represent your area. Copy the Commissioner of Education, Governor and Board of Education on your email. Click here for their contact information.
Note about emailing public officials and staff
Florida has an open public records law, and therefore any email you send to a public official is public record. This includes school staff, School Board members, legislators, district staff and state staff. If you prefer that your communication remain confidential, it is recommended that you request an in-person meeting or a phone call.