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Advocacy 101 for School Board Members

These basics will help you get started as a public education advocate.

As a school board member, one of your most important responsibilities is to advocate for the needs of your community's public school students, families, and taxpayers. This can mean communicating with policymakers, raising awareness on important issues, and even lobbying for legislative changes.

In fact, advocacy is written into your job description. The state’s Framework for School Board Development includes an entire section on Advocacy Engagement, saying “The board advocates on behalf of Texas public schoolchildren.”

Importance of Advocacy

As an elected official, your voice carries weight with your fellow community members, parents, policymakers, and legislators. It’s up to you and your board to speak out about the importance of public education in building a stronger future for the state by graduating students well-equipped for college, careers, and the military. State lawmakers and their staff often appreciate hearing from school board members who have local insights and expertise about how potential legislation would affect their districts and their communities.

Advocacy at the Local Level

When people hear the word “advocacy,” they often think of communicating with or trying to persuade state legislators, federal lawmakers, members of the State Board of Education, or the commissioner of education, among others.

Those are all very important parts of the advocacy picture; however, the story goes beyond communicating with state and federal officials.

Your greatest opportunity to advocate for public education as a school board and as an individual trustee is at the local level where you have the opportunity to listen, collaborate, and influence positive and productive changes to strengthen public education.

So, how do you go about being a highly effective advocate for enhanced student achievement at the local level? One way is to consider following these four steps:

  1. Identify the issues.
  2. Determine the desired outcomes.
  3. Identify key stakeholders and key influencers.
  4. Communicate with all stakeholders along the way.

How TASB Can Help

TASB offers both its members and the larger community many tools and resources to advocate in support of public education.

Depending on your specific needs, we encourage you to explore the different ways to grow as an advocate and share your support for public education.

What Is the TASB Advocacy Agenda?

TASB’s Advocacy Agenda is created by Texas school board members through a grassroots process.

Join the School Board Advocacy Network

TASB’s School Board Advocacy Network is a free service to help you stay informed and up -to-date on important education and legislative news.

Texans for Strong Public Schools

Find out how to support and advocate for Texas public education and become a Texan for Strong Public Schools.

A Quick and Easy Look at How the Legislature Works

An overview of how the legislative process works in Texas and how to get involved.

Frequently Asked Questions about Legislative Advocacy

Get answers to frequently asked questions about advocacy by a school district, its trustees, and its employees during the legislative season.