How Parents Can Gear Up for New Legislative Year
It's 2013. Parents, do you know where your state's K-12 educational priorities are?
As state lawmakers start their latest legislative sessions, four hot topics dominate
Education Week's "Watch List":
- Performance funding, where budgeting for K-12 efforts is based on measurable outcomes;
- Vouchers, especially in Texas, where GOP majorities in the Senate and House are expected to provide a boost to this option
- Implementing the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and math; and,
- Addressing early (K-3) education, such as achieving literacy by the end of 3rd grade.
Parents who want to find out what educational issues are looming in their particular state have many options in addition to following developments in Education Week, including Andrew Ujifusa's State EdWatch blog, and in their local media. Here are some additional resources:
- The National Conference of State Legislatures follows and researches educational issues.
- The Education Commission of the States produces an interactive U.S. map that directs visitors to key legislative contacts for their state, as well as links to major newspapers within the state.
- State PTAs keep a watchful eye on educational issues and lobby for certain positions, as the Washington State PTA plans to do on Jan. 24. A search for your state PTA's website often includes an Advocacy section, where legislative programs are outlined, as is the case with the New York State PTA.
- To see where your state stands, statistically, use the National Center for Education Statistics' interactive map of the U.S.