School board members play an invaluable role in their communities. By taking the time to build relationships with locally elected and appointed officials, they have an effective voice in public policy that impacts education. State legislators want to hear from school boards because they know education is such a vital function of state and local governments and because their decisions may impact schools back home in their districts and charter schools. We’ll talk about working effectively with legislators who live in your local community and map out ISBA’s Legislative Priorities and how you can support advocacy efforts.
The more you know about a legislator or official, the more effective you can be in communicating the public education message and ensuring a successful outcome from your advocacy efforts. Use the four key talking points (opposite page) to guide your conversation.
Some legislators may have more influence than others as they sit on more relevant committees, are members of the governing body’s power structure or leadership, or are considered experts in a particular area. When deciding which legislators to approach, always ask yourself “who can make or break this piece of legislation”?
Policymakers who hold appointments on critical committees should be targeted first. After all, if your bill doesn’t make it out of committee, it will never be voted on. Committees that often consider issues that affect public education include the JFAC, Education, Health and Welfare, and Tax committees.
Idaho State Legislature
State Capitol Building
P.O. Box 83720
Legislative Information Center
Tel: (208) 332-1000 or (800) 626-0471
Fax: (208) 334-5397
Hearing Impaired: (800) 626-0471
Note: All mail, email, and faxes must contain your name and address to be processed