As a school administrator, much of your work is directly impacted by the actions of our state and federal legislators. Recent examples of laws that have dramatically changed the educational landscape include those that created our teacher evaluation framework (OTES), enacted policies that influence building culture (PBIS), altered our teaching and assessment practices (Ohio’s Learning Standards and State Assessments), and changed our daily routines (HB 410). And of course, every list of ways that our lawmakers affect the work of school leaders begins with a discussion about school funding!
Given the tremendous impact that legislators have on the job we do, it simply stands to reason that educators need to be very purposeful about building a positive relationship with these influential individuals. By establishing a trusting, collaborative and cohesive relationship with our lawmakers, we stand a far better chance of having our professional perspectives considered when educational issues are being debated at the statehouse.
The purpose of our OAESA Principals Advocating with Legislators (PAL) program is to encourage every school administrator to spend time intentionally cultivating a positive relationship with legislators and policymakers from their area. Through this purposeful engagement, we believe the voices of our members will be considered by those who are passing the laws that so significantly influence our work.
The following PAL Toolkit is intended to provide you with the means for creating an effective, helpful relationship with lawmakers from your area. Please read through the items in this toolkit for suggestions and information; then, begin your journey by hosting a legislator on a visit to your school. Should you have any questions, or additional suggestions that you can offer for our toolkit, please contact the OAESA office at (614) 547-8087.
The goal of our PAL program is to have every OAESA member engage with at least one legislator or policymaker in some meaningful way every year. Once you have hosted a legislator visit, or made a personal contact in some other way, please let us know about your experience! CLICK HERE to tell us about your interaction.
CLICK HERE to locate your State Representative or State Senator. Then, click on their name to access their email and phone number. (Note using your school address may yield a different result than using your home address.)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PAL RESOURCE PACKET
- Sample letter of Invitation
- List of Ideas to do with Legislators
- Sample Thank You Letter
- Sample Press Release
- Social Media Suggestions
- Tips for Hosting a Successful Visit
- List of other principals who have hosted successful visits