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Add your voice to call for better education; we’ll help you

The budget situation is bad, and this session OSBA legislative services will need your help advocating for state funding of education that avoids budget cuts and puts students and districts first.

Oregon faces a 2017-19 budget deficit of approximately $1.8 billion to maintain services at current levels. This deficit offers tremendous challenges for legislators making budget decisions. In education, these challenges will be reflected in the ability to have sufficient resources to make gains in student achievement and graduation rates.

So let your voice be heard in Salem! School board members can fight on behalf of their districts and students during the upcoming session, and the legislative services team wants to assist you in becoming an advocate for your district and your students.

We also want you to sign up to be on the OSBA speakers’ bureau, and let us know issues that you are willing to testify about. Once signed up, the legislative services team will contact you about testifying at the Legislature for specific issues you are interested in. Schedule permitting, we will ask that you come to Salem and talk on behalf of your district and students. This type of advocacy commitment is designed for maximum flexibility, so if your schedule does not permit a trip to Salem when asked, then we will call on you another time.

If you are ready to sign up, then send an email to OSBA Executive Assistant Jane Leonhardt at jleonhardt@osba.org. She will send you a quick survey so the legislative team knows what areas you have an interest in.

If you need additional information before committing to the speakers’ bureau, please contact Lori Sattenspiel, interim director of legislative services, at lsattenspiel@osba.org

Advocacy is about informing and educating, creating awareness and starting crucial conversations about important education topics. Advocacy is not a six-month program. It is an ongoing, year-round effort.

We are working to have school board members forge alliances with legislators, parents and key community members. As an advocate, you provide support for policies that have a positive impact on districts and students. You will also be an ally against policies that, while well-intentioned, could be detrimental to districts and students.

There will be other advocacy opportunities available for you, including the OSBA & COSA Legislative Day scheduled for March 13 in Salem. Come to Salem for the one-day workshop. Be prepared to get involved with advocacy training while getting tips and talking points for a meeting with your local legislators in the afternoon.

The agenda and registration link will be coming soon.