Advocating at the legislative level for education is about making your voice heard and taking action that involves acting on behalf of your school district. AASB relies on school board members to use their voice to advocate for students and public education in Alaska.
As elected officials, you have the utmost responsibility to the students and staff in your schools, as well as the communities they serve, which is why a school board member’s role as an advocate for public education is a fundamental responsibility of every school board member.
Legislative advocacy includes:
- Becoming familiar with AASB’s legislative priorities [insert link] that are developed each year for AASB’s legislative advocacy focus.
- Staying informed of proposed legislation that may impact your school district.
- Getting to know your legislators and their staff. Invite them into your schools and provide them with important information about your districts.
AASB provides a variety of services to help school board members stay informed during legislative sessions, and opportunities to connect with your legislators.
AASB’s Executive Director coordinates AASB’s grassroots lobbying efforts and works to ensure school board representatives are prepared to lobby during each legislative session. AASB promotes pro-education legislation and protects the principle of local control of public education.
“The Session” Newsletter
To keep you informed of the latest developments, all members are emailed The Session newsletter each Monday morning during legislative sessions. It contains up-to-date information and analysis of current priority education issues, bills, and committee actions impacting your district.
Committee Testimony & Testify by Text
AASB’s Executive Director is frequently called upon to provide expert testimony and input on education legislation.
At key points during the legislative session AASB will issue email and text Calls To Action to alert board members of opportunities to offer their testimony on priority education bills.
AASB’s Testify by Text system allows members to quickly and easily submit legislative testimony from their mobile phones.
“[Attending the AASB Legislative Fly-Ins] built confidence in being able to address legislators on key educational issues that will affect all of us” – Alaska School Board Member
Legislative Fly-Ins & Youth Advocacy Institute
Each legislative session, AASB hosts two fly-ins that offer board members & district leaders the opportunity to speak with a unified voice as they meet face to face with legislators and governmental officials. Your voice is heard as you collaborate with AASB to identify legislative talking points and provide testimony at committee hearings.
During the first fly-in, AASB also hosts a Youth Advocacy Institute (YAI) where students attend workshops on bill research, advocacy and how to give testimony. Students develop skills in legislative advocacy, while building confidence to make an impact in their state. The students’ experience culminates with participation in committee meetings which offers them opportunities to testify and learn about the legislative process in “real-time.”
Federal Relations Network
AASB is your link to the National School Boards Association’s Federal Relations Network (FRN). This is your opportunity to become involved with the legislative process at the national level. The FRN provides a unique opportunity for local school board members to be engaged with their members of Congress.
“Learning the processes of being ready to speak with legislators about what bills our district say is important.” – Alaska School Board Member
- 2023 Legislative Priorities The AASB Board of Directors has chosen these priority areas for its 2023 legislative advocacy focus. Supporting resolutions of the membership can be found in the document Where We Stand 2023.
- Find My School District’s Legislators A guide to the state Senators and Representatives who represent each Alaska school district during the 33rd legislative session. Includes legislator contact information.
- BASIS (Bill Action Status Inquiry System) BASIS has been designed to help the public access legislative information. Inside BASIS you can find information on Bills, Schedules, and Legislative Members, and watch live and archived video coverage of floor sessions and committee hearings.
- Your Guide to Lobbying the Alaska Legislature – A Primer for Alaska School Board Members Learn the basics of how to effectively communicate with lawmakers. Includes an overview of the legislative process, the logistics and protocol of visiting the Capitol, scheduling and preparing for a meeting, testifying at hearings, the committee process, complete contact information for legislators and their staff, and much more.
- Alaska Legal Resource Center Provides free access to public legal resources, such as case law, court rules, statutes and regulations.
- What Does Alaska’s Constitution Say About Education?
- Alaska Constitution (PDF)
- Legislative Testimony Guide