School boards and members urged to contact Congress in support of local education flexibility legislation

From NSBA

Help is urgently needed to urge Congress to sponsor/co-sponsor the Local Educational Agency Governance, Flexibility and Efficiency Act of 2013.

On Jan. 29, more than 700 local school board members and state association leaders joined their colleagues on Capitol Hill for Federal Relations Network Conference to urge their members of Congress to sponsor legislation drafted by NSBA, called the Local Educational Agency Governance, Flexibility and Efficiency Act of 2013. While the reception for the bill has been positive on Capitol Hill, members of Congress and staff are asking that their local school boards contact them and inform them of their support for the bill and to urge the members of Congress to sponsor it. 

The legislation would recognize the vital role and responsibilities of local school board governance and local school district decision-making in designing, developing and delivering high-quality educational services for our nation's schoolchildren.  The legislation also would ensure that the U.S. Department of Education fulfills its role as a policy implementer rather than a policy maker, and performs that role with proper recognition of local governance. 

Please contact your member of Congress and urge them to sponsor or co-sponsor the Local Educational Agency Governance, Flexibility and Efficiency Act of 2013.  Dial the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or you can complete and mail the sample letter below.

Sample Letter for School Board Members

Member

United States Senate (or United States House of Representatives)

Washington, D.C.  20510 (or for the  United States House of Representatives -  include zip code 20515)

Re:       Please Sponsor NSBA Bill - Local Educational Agency Governance, Flexibility and Efficiency Act

Dear Senator________ or (Representative ____________):

As a local school board member from (list district) representing (list number) schoolchildren I am concerned about the expansion of the federal government into local operations.  I request your help to become a sponsor or co-sponsor of legislation drafted by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) entitled, Local Educational Agency Governance, Flexibility and Efficiency Act.

I am concerned about the expansion of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), in particular, as evidenced by a variety of activities that all too often have operated to impact local policy and programs in ways that have been either beyond the specific intent or contemplation of federal authorizing legislation.  (LIST ANY SPECIFIC LOCAL EXAMPLES IF POSSIBLE).  As a result of this expanded role and the impact on local governance, I support the need to properly recognize the importance of local self-governance in education with the introduction of this bill - and seek your formal support as a sponsor or co-sponsor.   

Additionally, the bill would strengthen the process for local meaningful input from local school officials and educators as a condition for the U.S. Department of Education's implementation of regulations, rules, grant requirements, and other materials that impact the educational and operational capacity of the local level or impact the decision-making role and flexibility needed by local school districts to meet their educational goals. Further, this bill would provide the U.S. House and Senate committees that oversee education with better information regarding the local impact of ED's activities, and to more broadly underscore the role of the United States Congress as the federal policy-maker in education. 

View a copy of the draft bill, a summary of the draft bill, and a section-by-section analysis to assist you in better understanding the benefits of the legislation to prevent any further erosion of local school board authority or flexibility.  I urge you to re-affirm the important role of local school boards as the principle democratic governance body in determining how children in our communities are educated by sponsoring this bill. 

I very much appreciate your support for local schools and hopefully your willingness to sponsor this important legislation.  Please advise me of your decision by contacting  (list your contact information).

Sincerely, (List school board member name)

 

Thank you very much for your help!

Kathleen Branch, MEd, CAE

Director, National Advocacy Services

Office of Federal Advocacy & Public Policy

National School Boards Association

703.838.6735

www.nsba.org/advocacy

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