Educators need to share their powerful stories
From the ACSA President, Linda Kaminski
September 30, 2019
Each fall the National Association of School Superintendents sponsors a Washington, D. C., gathering of superintendents from throughout the nation. I had the opportunity to attend this year and joined participants in meetings with members of Congress and the U. S. Department of Education to advocate for federal policies and legislation that will benefit our students and staff.  This gathering is similar to ACSA’s annual spring Legislative Action Day in Sacramento, where members from each of the 19 ACSA regions meet with California assemblymembers and senators to advocate for state policies and legislation that will benefit our schools and districts.   These annual events are not the only time to advocate on behalf of our students and staff. You may have heard from your regional vice-president for legislative action that “grassroots advocacy” is vital to our success as educators. Every time I have met with either my state or federal legislator, I have been pleasantly surprised to see how interested they are in hearing the stories I share about the teachers and administrators who strive each day to make a difference for our students.   Your legislators need to hear your story, too. Sharing your story is vital to your role as an education advocate. Whether it’s the local, state or even federal politician, they need to hear your story in order to understand the complexities and challenges we face in our schools and districts on a daily basis.  Painting the picture of real students, real teachers and real administrators helps inform their perspectives, opinions and votes. Facts can be misinterpreted or even twisted to give a false impression. Your stories communicate the truth of your experiences and the needs of those we serve.   So share your story. Invite your local and state representatives to your school to celebrate with you the successes of your students and see first-hand their needs. If you have never attended ACSA’s spring Legislative Action Day, join your region this year on April 19-20, 2020 to meet with our state legislators. All administrators are welcome and needed.  Next fall, when NASS reconvenes for its federal advocacy conference, encourage your region to send at least two superintendents to share your stories. Together our stories can inform, guide and motivate legislators to support tomorrow’s voters now.
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