Posted In: ESEA/NCLB, Moving in Congress, Uncategorized

Activist tools: Make your voice heard on ESEA/NCLB today!

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photo courtesy of Howard Lake

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Download the complete ESEA toolkit. Click here ›

With discussion of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act heating up in Congress, now is the time to make your voice heard! Votes on the ESEA reauthorization are expected to come up this week. With two thirds of the current members of congress never having voted on ESEA before, now is the perfect time to make sure your elected officials are hearing from concerned educators and parents. Check out some of the options below (or click here to download the complete toolkit) and get involved today!

Call Congress

Congressional offices appreciate receiving phone calls from constituents so they can better represent their district. Calling your representative is always a great way to express your opinion and when we call together on specific days, it helps to demonstrate the importance and popularity of our cause. The call-in days for ESEA will be July 17th and 18th.

Call your member of Congress toll-free:

  • Dial 866-420-3592
  • Type in your 5 digit Zip Code followed by the “#” sign (like 12345#)
  • Select which Representative is yours and press the number associated with them

Then follow these 3 easy steps:

1. At the beginning of your conversation with the office staff, always state your name and where you are from. This way whoever picks up the phone knows it’s a constituent from their district.

“Good afternoon, my name is ______and I’m an educator and voter from _____, calling for Congressman/ woman______.”

2. Next, state the reason you are calling. It helps to have a few pre-planned talking points or a personal story at the ready. With these key points on ESEA and how it can be improved, your message will be clear and effective.

“I am calling to provide my opinion on ESEA and why Congress needs to get it right…”

“When it comes to developing assessments for students and evaluations for educators, shouldn’t the local community have the biggest say? If we really want to help all students reach their full potential, we must allow educators, parents, students and local communities to be a part of the development process and have a stronger voice in the conversation.”

“Democrats, Republicans and independents alike oppose public school vouchers because they take tax dollars away from local schools and give them to unaccountable entities. Taxpayers can’t afford to be supporting entitlement programs for private schools, leaving a choice between cutting services or raising taxes.”

3. At the end of your conversation, remind them of your main point:

“Thank you for your time and I hope Congressman/woman ___________ will do the right thing on ESEA and make students and their education the top priority by supporting local control and opposing vouchers.”

Email Congress

1. Visit the NEA Legislative Action Center

2. Type in your 5 digit Zip Code into the box titled “Take Action Now!” and click Go!

3. Select your U.S. Representative by checking one of the boxes, type in your information below and click Go!

4. Start to type your message. You may either include a personal message or click on the red arrows to select a few of ours. A personal message may include:

  • “By making the right improvements to ESEA, it can ensure effective instructional leadership among school leaders and promote high standards and rigorous preparation for entry into the teaching profession.”
  • “The purpose of public education is to guarantee that all students are prepared to thrive in a democratic society and in a diverse and rapidly changing world as knowledgeable, creative, and engaged citizens and lifelong learns. Congress needs to do the right thing with ESEA and improve our public education system.”
  • “Congress needs to focus more on providing for schools in need of tools and resources and less on vouchers. Make improvements to ESEA and do not include vouchers.”

NEA members: Call your fellow educator activists

1. Visit My Education Votes

2. Click “Log In” on the top navigation bar

3. First-time visitors:

  • Select the tab that says “Create New Account” in blue.
  • Fill out the form with your information and click the red “Create New Account” button at the bottom of the page.
  • If you are authenticated as a NEA member, you should now be able to see a tab that says “Make Calls” in the top navigation bar, next to “Events” and “Log Out.” If you do not see a tab labeled “Make Calls,” contact your administrator so that your account may be authenticated.

4. Returning visitors:

  • Enter your username & password in the appropriate boxes, and then click the red “Log In” button.
  • Select “Make Calls” from the top navigation bar. If you do not see a tab labeled “Make Calls,” contact your administrator so that your account may be authenticated.

5. Select the appropriate Virtual Phone Bank from the list by clicking the red “Make Calls” button.

  • If you do not see the correct phone bank in your list, or you would like to make calls in a different state, select another state from the dropdown menu in the upper right corner of the screen.

6. You will be redirected to a screen with the name & phone number of a voter at the top.

  • Dial the number indicated and ask for the appropriate person.
  • If you connect successfully, follow your script and record the voter’s answers in the dropdowns/checkboxes provided on the screen. Then click the red “Save/Next” button at the bottom of the screen to call another voter.
  • If you do not connect, click the red “Save/Next” button at the bottom of the screen.

Click here to download the ESEA toolkit with these instructions as well as other easy ways you can get involved in the campaign.

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