Getting change and improvement in public education policy requires sound objective research, clear goals and focused, strategic advocacy work. We provide resources in strategic public policy discernment, broad ranged engagement ideas in public education and strategies for mobilizing congregations. Below is a matrix of ideas for congregations to consider as ministries in public education.
Level of Engagement
|Congregations/Districts||Families, children, teachers educators,||General Public, Policy makers, Public officials.|
|1. Awareness Listening, sharing, participating with others||Basic facts about the state of education in NC; Study the Biblical narrative about education. Preach justice.||Providing basic legal information; brochures; social media information; connect parent groups from different parts of the town.||Learn about public and official attitudes and practices IRO education resources; learn about the state education budget; establish public forums to listen.|
|2. Education Providing “just” knowledge and skills||Current state of the law and its enforcement; look for evidence of unfairness and injustice; listen to real stories.||Share information about school management, finances and state education policy; legal rights information and briefings; provide opportunities to share stories.||Inform public of problems at your school through letters to the press; letters to the press; letters of advocacy to elected representatives.|
|3. Discernment Building advocacy skills||Empowering/educating congregations to research and examine the issues. Gather lots of data. Build multiple advocacy strategies to suit each issue||Run lots of listening sessions with parents, teachers and administrators to gather facts and problem solve.||Start building a relationship with your local School Board members and other elected representative. Find out their voting patterns on education issues.|
|4. Proclamation Declaring justice||Let the community know about what you find, the problems and the opportunities for mobilization. Declaring injustices; collaborate with other advocacy groups. Preach justice.||Find leaders among these groups to build a power base with them and within themselves.||Build some form of basic policy about public schools and declare this to your school management, the school Board, and your state representatives.|
|5. Advocacy Acts of Mercy and Charity
|Create support groups for the parents in your local school. Provide coaching for immigrant families, plus coaching in parenting responsibilities for disadvantaged children.||Supporting schools through programs like C4C.
Support teachers and school administrators in their efforts to improve resources.
|Deepen you relationship with elected representatives and keep them informed about the state of things through letters, petitions, briefing sessions, and face to face discussions.|
|6. Advocacy Acts of Justice||Mobilizing congregations to advocate to improve the application of constitutional law on education; vote for candidates who support public education||Mobilizing communities to advocate to improve the application of constitutional law on education; vote for candidates who support public education||Build strong advocacy approaches to change public policy and funding for public schools. Challenge poor decision by public officials and advocate for improvements|
The matrix provides a framework for action, so in addition we provide a number advocacy skills and approaches to empower individuals and congregations to take action.
- Education Advocacy – approaches at school level based off C4C activity.
- Advocacy Strategies – building a process to do advocacy work.
- Building an Advocacy Case -- Getting into the details.
- Mobilizing Your Congregation -- getting your people organized and motivated.
- House Meetings -- a way to get small group focused.
- Issue Forums – getting focused on the issues.
- Facilitating a Community Listening Session – listening to teachers, parents, students, administrators.
- City Hall and Legislative Hearings – Include School Board meetings
- Writing a successful letter to the Editor – Making injustice visible
- Holding Community Forums and Rallies – Mobilizing congregations
- Building Relationships with elected Representatives – speaking truth to power
- Lobby Meeting with an elected representative – engaging the powers.