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Continuous Advocacy: Unmet Needs & Ongoing Challenges

By John Forester | July 11, 2019

Since Governor Evers signed the 2019-21 State Budget last week, several SAA members have shared with me that their legislators had reached out asking if the budget was “good” for their districts.  The administrators went on to ask for advice on how to respond to their legislators.

Clearly, the legislators were looking for simple one- or two-word responses that they could use with the media and with their colleagues.  My suggestion instead was to share with legislators what this budget means for the kids you serve – in other words, how this budget improves educational opportunities for your students.  But, more importantly, you also need to share the unmet needs from this budget and the ongoing challenges that remain.

I think this is a clear example of how our responsibility to advocate on behalf of necessary resources for our students and needed evidence-based policy does not stop with the signing of the state budget.  It is ongoing and continuous.

Therefore, my suggestion to all district administrators is this:  engage your administrative teams and develop your district’s analysis of 1) what this budget means for the students you serve, and 2) the unmet needs from this budget and the ongoing challenges that remain.  Then use this information to educate your legislators, your staff, your board and your community.

Wisconsin school children deserve that kind of continuous advocacy.  Thanks for listening, and thanks for everything you do for the kids you serve.

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