Advocating for K-12 Students
Lots of parents have genuine problems with the way their child’s school operates. When responding to their queries, I share my opinions on improving their actions and how to exercise them properly. If parents are willing to put in some extra effort, they can hold their child’s school accountable. You can apply these five methods to advocate for your community’s K-12 students.
Learn About Education Policies and Laws
Your child’s institution and the district it belongs to is a public trust. This means it aims to benefit all the people in your community through its service. When it comes to exercising your power and voice, you first need to understand the education laws and policies governing your school district. Many times school officials think that they can enjoy impunity assuming that community members and parents don’t know the intricacies of education policies and laws. However, the truth is that these public officials are bound to adhere to these policies and laws. Therefore, if you call them and say that one of their activities is non-compliant with federal, state, or local practices and standards, they either have to rectify the activity or experience legal hazards.
Be a Part of Your Local School Board
Local school boards are responsible for interpreting state laws and establishing similar policies for their districts. They also develop strategic plans to advance education in their districts. A local school board advocates for the rights and concerns of the local citizenry and represents the state in educational subjects. While the local school board is obligated to execute state educational policies, it can also challenge those policies using appropriate channels if it gets the feeling that the state’s regulations aren’t beneficial for students and institutions in its district. Therefore, you can truly make a difference by joining the school board. In the majority of school districts, the mayor appoints a certain number of school board seats, while the rest are filled by election.
Exert Your Influence
If you don’t have the enthusiasm or time to carry out the responsibilities of a school board member or fail to win a seat, you can still hold the school board accountable. You can reach out to school board members and share your opinions, attend school board meetings, and give your statements on education-related matters. This will help you leave a powerful impact on the way the school district operates.
Be a Part of the School Site Council
The majority of schools run a site-based school council comprising teachers, administrators, and parents. The school’s principal selects and appoints these people who regularly assemble to vote and discuss agenda items related to the school. You can try to get such a position by asking the school’s principal.
Join the Parent-Teacher Association
PTA is a local organization involving parents and teachers that work together to cause changes in a school. Joining is open to all parents. Talk to the school’s principal or your child’s teacher for more information.
Now that you know what should be done to advocate for your community’s K-12 students, it is time to do your bit.