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Advocate for Public Education in our Nation’s Capitol

Jeff Cobb

By Jeff Cobb, MASB Assistant Director of Government Relations

DashBoard, Jan. 8, 2020

The National School Boards Association’s annual Advocacy Institute is designed to help participants develop a keen understanding of why effective advocacy requires strong collaboration across policy, media and judicial spectrums. This year, it will take place Feb. 2 – 4, 2020 in Washington D.C. at the Marriott Marquis. Michigan consistently has one of the largest delegations in attendance, last year tying with Texas for the largest!

NSBA will also be holding its Equity Symposium at the same location the day before on Feb. 1. Registration for this one-day event is separate from the Advocacy Institute. The Equity Symposium provides a forum for school board members to examine and discuss the strategies, current trends and best practices around equity in our nation’s public schools.

The 2020 Advocacy Institute is entitled, Election 2020: Champion our Children, and will feature keynote speeches from Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Eugene Robinson, political advisor and television producer Mark McKinnon and Federal Communications Commission’s Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. Join other school board members from across the country to develop a better understanding of the federal issues surrounding education and how to effectively advocate for positive changes in both the political world and in the media.

Other topics to be covered include full funding for the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, school safety and bridging the digital divide. There will also be breakout sessions on school board priorities facing Congress.

As in the past, MASB will be holding a lunch on Sunday afternoon before the start of the Advocacy Institute to talk about what to expect and the logistics of the day on the Hill. It will be held at the hotel and you can register for the lunch by contacting De’Shondria Bedenfield. We are inviting one of Michigan’s Congresspeople who sits on the House Committee on Education and Labor to welcome the attendees and a representative from NSBA to give an overview of the conference.

On Tuesday morning, MASB will be hosting a Senate breakfast on Capitol Hill from 8 – 10 a.m. for our delegates. We have invited Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters to address the group. Following the breakfast, you will be able to meet with members of Congress and/or their staff. Be sure to make your appointments in advance.

In preparation for the event, NSBA will send all registrants a “homework assignment” and messaging points to review beforehand. This document will help explain key issues and give specific information that you can use when you meet with your representatives. MASB will have state-specific talking points available closer to the date of the event.

Flex your advocacy muscles and join us in Washington D.C. next month! Register today to represent your state and the children in your district.

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