The educator-activist’s summer to-do list


By Amanda Litvinov / Photo copyright Moyan Brenn

Summer is finally upon us, and for most educators, that means at least a few precious weeks to throw on your flip-flops and eat lunch whenever you please! But as every educator knows, your work is never really done.

All year round, your students are still counting on you to keep them on the path to a great education. They’re counting on you to help elect or re-elect pro-public education candidates, and then to hold those elected officials accountable for their decisions.

With the fall elections fast approaching, it’s more important than ever to get informed and involved in local, state and national politics. These six to-do’s from the EdVotes team will help you accomplish just that.

  1. Sign up for the EducationVotes weekly email (if you aren’t already on our list!). EdVotes sifts through all the news that affects public education and offers readers ways to take action on those issues. Each email includes an Action of the Week—a quick and easy way to make a difference.
  2. Invite your colleagues to sign up for EdVotes, too. Sharing good resources is second nature to educators—so spread the word! Challenge yourself to invite five others to sign up.
  3. Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Make sure everyone in your networks know that you care passionately about public education—and show them how they can help us defend it! “Like” Speak Up for Education & Kids,  and share EdVotes articles on Facebook and Twitter (follow our feed!). And make sure you’re connected to your state association’s social media , too.
  4. Keep up with your state education association so you’ll know when they’ve recommended pro-public education candidates—it’s like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval for those running for office!
  5. Make sure you check out NEA’s Legislative Action Center for analysis of federal legislation that affects educators and students. You can also access NEA’s Congressional Report Card and the Ten Golden Rules of Lobbying, a list of great pointers on communicating with legislators. You’ll also find tips on drafting effective letters to the editor.
  6. Last but not least, make sure your vote will be counted this fall—and do the same for others. Using the resources gathered in the EdVotes Voter Protection Center, you can register to vote or confirm that you are registered, and find out whether your state is one of many that has changed the rules about early voting or voter identification and residency requirements.

Do you have other ideas of quick and easy things everyone can do to get politically involved? Feel free to leave comments!

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