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Making an Impact This Memorial Day Weekend

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How will you be spending Memorial Day weekend?

Lobbying your senators and congressional representatives, no doubt.

That's what one early-learning advocacy group suggests that you do, based on political realities for the remainder of 2012.

Since congressional leaders traditionally head home for the Memorial Day break, the First Five Years Fund recommends that anyone interested in influencing funding for programs like Head Start and the Early Learning Challenge go out and meet their federal representatives over the holiday weekend.

Whether a constituent's issue is early childhood or another educational matter, the organization's guidance is based on how the rest of the congressional year is expected to unfold.

Legislators return after the Memorial Day recess to work on bills for two months, followed by recesses from August 6 to September 7 for the Senate and August 4 to September 9 for the House. During those recesses, the Democratic and Republican national conventions will be held. Once the election is over, a lame duck session begins.

"When the new Congress meets in January, it will be greeted by big problems, with $1.3 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts (the result of last year's debt ceiling deals) due to take effect, the Bush tax cuts set to expire, and a thorny Medicaid funding problem looming—a trio of crises that will set the stage for dramatic, high-level showdowns," according to The Starting Point blog by the First Five Years Fund.

Since legislators typically make public appearances during the long weekend, or hold office hours, parents and the public may have an opportunity to meet face-to-face to advance their educational agendas.

Let us know if you decide to lobby for an educational cause over the long weekend, and, if so, how it turns out.

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