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Educator Shortage Survey and Letter to Policymakers

SAI’s Executive Leaders, a group composed of Iowa’s superintendents and Area Education Agency chief administrators, met October 26 & 27. During the meeting, they devoted thought and attention to the educator shortage based on findings from SAI’s Educator Shortage Survey. The ideas and information contributed to a letter sent to the governor, key legislators and influential leaders in the state. Read the letter

Show & Tell with Legislators: Inform, engage, educate
Why you should host legislators in your district

  1. To inform, enlighten and educate legislators about what is actually happening in local schools, and
  2. To build relationships between school leaders and legislators, to help with advocacy in the future.

Iowa public schools are the heart of our communities and doing amazing work for the students of Iowa. National politics can lead legislators and the public to believe otherwise. Iowa school leaders know if legislators visit our public schools they will see and hear for themselves the great things happening, be more informed about the challenges facing Iowa schools, and become better lawmakers for the children of this state and our future leaders.

Building relationships with your local legislators is critical for your school as well as the education community across Iowa. Legislators have the ability to influence how public schools are funded, how they operate, and their regulation. A school visit will leave a lasting impression on legislators that can improve their understanding of issues facing Iowa schools, as well as open the lines of communication and foster future discussions between district leaders and legislators as a legislation proposal arises at the Statehouse.

Resources

Hosting a legislator can feel intimidating. This guide is intended to help you through the process and offer tips to make the visit successful. Contact SAI at any point in your planning for resources or to discuss your questions. 

How to host your legislators

  1. Initial planning - sample email invitation
  2. Agenda planning - sample agenda
  3. Share all the details
  4. During the visit
  5. After the visit - sample thank you letter

Share/report the visit

The goal of the Show and Tell with Legislators initiative, a collaborative effort of Rural School Advocates of Iowa and SAI, is to engage all 150 Iowa legislators to visit a public school building each school year. 

Therefore, it’s important to report visits by legislators to us so we can track which legislators have had an opportunity to learn from Iowa districts. Please report any visits by legislators using the Show & Tell with Legislators Reporting Form as soon as possible. If you already completed a visit earlier in this school year, feel free to record it on the reporting form.

If you or a legislator needs follow-up from SAI's Government Relations Director, let us know that as well.

It's been SAId: Tips for talking with legislators podcast

Join Executive Director Lisa Remy as she talks with Government Relations Director Dave Daughton. In this episode, Dave shares

  • Why education advocacy is important
  • How administrators can effectively communicate the needs of their schools to policymakers and legislators
  • Key strategies for building community support and involvement in advocating for public education
  • Advice on how administrators should interact with elected officials and encouragement for those who may feel hesitant or unsure about engaging in political advocacy due to the complexities or potential ramifications

Listen now or subscribe to SAI's podcast.

If you missed it, AASA's December magazine focuses on the role administrators can play in state and federal advocacy and emphasizes the collective responsibility of advocacy.