Public education advocates across the nation are awakening to the fact that traditional public education is under serious attack and thus are gearing up to fight privatization efforts. Traditional public school advocates can overcome well-connected privatizers when they join together and get involved.
District-level advocacy groups are indispensable. If there isn’t a school district-level advocacy group in your area, start one. Gather some friends and start your own public education group to focus on supporting students, teachers, and education professionals in your local public school district.
Here are five easy steps to get you started:
- Find fellow organizers in your school district. Speak to your friends and family, professional colleagues, community leaders, and others who might be interested in joining you to help organize public education advocacy efforts for your school district.
- Meet to decide on your group’s focus. Your group may want to show how the neighborhood schools are affected by things like the overuse of standardized tests or inequitable charter school funding. Most importantly, your team should extensively promote the schools in the district and the children and families they serve.
- Become informed. Research and find out everything you can about the public schools in your district, and learn about current issues in Ohio public education. Check social media to see what other grassroots advocacy organizations (like Public Education Partners) are writing about public education, and consider attending activities that are presented locally or in other areas of the state.
- Decide what you can do. Will your group members want to attend school board meetings? Speak to elected officials? Write letters to the editor of the local newspaper? Attend pro-public education meetings and rallies? Host public education documentary screenings and panel discussions in your community? Connect through social media, or have face-to-face conversations with members of your community? If you’re not sure, start small and see what works.
- Create a Facebook page for your group, and start connecting with other people within your local school district community to learn more and share what you already know.
After you’ve figured it out, get involved and jump right in. Stay positive. Stay strong. Support your local public school district!