Wednesday, June 15, 2016

NSBA Advocacy Institute held in D.C.

A large Illinois delegation met with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk on June 14.
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) held its Advocacy Institute June 12-14 in Washington, D.C., to help school board members learn and become effective advocates for their local school districts and for public education.

The sessions covered the implications of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), how to develop talking points for meetings with members of Congress and their staffs, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Title IX applications to transgendered students, and how to develop a grassroots engagement plan.

Participants met with members of Congress and their staffs to discuss school board issues and priorities. Illinois representatives met with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, U.S. Reps. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth), Randy Hultgren (R-Dixon), and Robin Kelly (D-Matteson). Additional meetings were held with staffers for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and staff members for Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates).

The Illinois contingent included IASB President Phil Pritzker, Vice President Joanne Osmond, and Immediate Past President Karen Fisher. Representing IASB were Executive Director Roger Eddy and Director of Governmental Relations Susan Hilton.

“This meeting offers school board members from across the nation the rare chance to get the inside track on advocacy focused on the federal impact of public education,” said Susan Hilton. “The event this year drew hundreds of board members, including the largest contingent from Illinois in many years.”

Illinois school board members who attended were Kathleen Burley of Community Unit School District 300 (Algonquin); Mable Chapman, Pamela Cudjo-Kelly, Margie Hudson-Walker, and Bonnie Rateree of West Harvey-Dixmoor SD 147; Quinton Foreman, Vanessa Hatcher, Rosalyn Hathorn, Andrea Kidd, Valencia E. Ross, and Frank Tanniehill of Lincoln Elem SD 156 (Calumet City); Deborah Birmingham of Ball-Chatham CUSD 5 (Chatham); Nakia Hall of Crete-Monee CUSD 201U (Crete); Scott Linn of Aptakisic-Tripp CCSD 102 (Deerfield); Anne Sorensen, Lake Bluff ESD 65; Robert Moorman of Lake Forest CHSD 115; Janet M. Rogers, Harvey SD 152; and Suzanne Sands of Lake Forest SD 67, along with Michael V. Simeck, superintendent of Lake Forest SD 67 and Lake Forest CHSD 115; Elliott H. Johnson, and Eric Perkins of Matteson ESD 162.

More information about the Advocacy Institute can be found on the NSBA website.