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State charter school leaders visit Capitol Hill

Last week, more than 25 charter school leaders from across the country convened in Washington, D.C. for a day-long meeting to share best practices for growing sustainable charter support organizations, and to meet with their congressional delegations. The meetings, with more than 100 congressional offices, are a critical part of educating members of Congress and their staffs about the importance of the federal Charter Schools Program. Congress is starting the process of determining its spending priorities for Fiscal Year 2015, so it’s important that they hear from their constituents–charter school leaders, teachers, and parents–about the ways public charter schools provide great learning opportunities for children in their communities. Building these relationships will help ensure federal funding and policies that support charter schools.  It is important that our nation’s elected officials hear from more than just our state leaders. That’s why, this week we are calling on parents, teachers, school leaders, and charter school supporters from the across the country to reach out to their members of Congress. Here are two ways you can help:
  • Invite your members of Congress to visit your school. Our state leaders began the work of extending these offers last week, but members like to hear from many of their constituents. Consider inviting your members of Congress to an event at your school such as a school play, spelling bee, or science fair. For assistance scheduling a school visit with your member of Congress, contact Pam Davidson at Pam@publiccharters.org.
  • Send an email! Another way to stay in touch is through email. Right now, members of Congress are making decisions about what federal programs are important to them and their constituents. The state leaders paved the road during their in-person meetings last week, but this week we have a great chance to remind them that they have a charter school supporter back at home! Join our efforts by clicking here to send a letter to your members of Congress and ask them to support charter schools in the upcoming year.
Kim Kober is the federal policy and government relations coordinator for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. NLK_5572kk NLK_random   Left: State leaders convene at the Office of the Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) in the U.S. Capitol Right: Bill Phillips of the Northeast Charter School Network talks to Rep. Cantor as Jed Wallace, California Charter Schools Association, and Andrew Broy, Illinois Network of Charter Schools, look on. Photo credit: Nora Kern