Legislative education policy has challenges because each bill interacts with the State Board and district boards and the implication of policies can be difficult to predict. With this in mind, here are three ways to get involved or amp up your current involvement.
1) Join your School Community Council (SCC) at any Utah public school.
School Community Councils (SCCs) include family members, educators and administrators at each Utah public school. Their primary purpose is to allocate Trust Land Funds to address a school’s “greatest academic need” but they also help problem solve other issues and communicate with district and state board representatives about policies or issues that positively or negatively impact individual schools. Most SCCs have their elections each spring but are still open, whether or not you are a current member. Can’t make it to meetings but want to be involved? Each district publicly posts SCC meeting minutes so you can stay up to date.
2) Already an SCC member? Consider adding Education Bills to your February and March agendas.
It’s easy to track bills by subject on le.utah.gov with a list of filed and in process education bills HERE. Flag legislation that matters to the school and assign members to give updates in upcoming meetings. One in-process bill that will definitely impact SCCs is Trust Lands Zoning Amendments by Rep. Nelson (in process). Many others will impact schools more broadly, including a list of Family Economic Prosperity bills that will be presented by the Women in the Economy Commission on January 25th and Educator Licensing Amendments by Rep. Coleman (in process), to give some examples.
3) Carbon Copy Communication
Generally, constituents can write their House or Senate representative about legislation to be directly heard but in education sharing feedback with district and state board members (and superintendents!) will have more impact with legislators. If you, or your SCC, writes a letter about an education issue, send it to even more decision makers to have a larger impact!