Summer 2017

ATPE News is the official publication of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the largest educator association in Texas. The magazine addresses the most important issues affecting public education in the state. Learn more at

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Page 16 of 43

WHAT CAN YOU DO BEFORE THE NEXT LEGISLATIVE SESSION TO HELP PUBLIC EDUCATION WIN IMPORTANT BATTLES? ATPE NEWS 17 GET T O KNO W Y OUR LE GISLA T ORS. Taking the time to build relationships with your legislators and discuss- ing your concerns with them between legisla- tive cycles is worth the effort. Visit Advocacy Central at advocacy-central to find your legislators' names and contact info. Research their positions on key education issues, and share your personal positions and experienc- es with them via email, phone, or even face-to- face meetings. Remember, your legisla- tors work for YOU, and you are the expert on what goes on inside the classroom. BE INV OL VED IN THE ELE CTION PR OCES S. Take an active role in elections. Learn about local and state candidates for office, register voters, become a precinct chair, and recruit volunteers. Talk to your school leaders about ways to encourage other educa- tors (or even high school students on your cam- pus) to vote. Learn more about how educators can be involved in election work on our blog at atpe. org/election-volunteering. V O TE. The best way to influence future legislation is by electing lawmakers who will protect educators and students. If educators come out to vote in the 2018 primaries and general election, we CAN make a difference. Find election resources at S T A Y INF ORMED . Read our blog at and follow ATPE on social media to stay informed and engaged. We'll provide the details, but it's up to you to do the reading. GET INV OL VED L OC ALL Y . If you want to make a dif- ference in your community, take a stand on issues that directly affect you, your school, and your students. Stay up to date with your local news and let your administrators know about issues that concern you. If there are school commit- tees that affect your job, get involved! Have you ever considered running for your local school board or anoth- er local elected office? KEEP THE C ONVER - S A TION GOING. Don't be shy about sharing important news and events with your colleagues or oth- ers in your community who are concerned about public education. GIVE Y OUR EXPER T AD VICE. The Texas Education Agency routinely looks for educators to serve in state committee advisory positions that help shape Texas education policies. Many ATPE members have been selected to serve on these committees in the past (see Casey Hubbard's comments, left). ATPE also needs educators who can give legislative testimony on critical issues or speak to the media about public education. Fill out our volunteer interest form at DONA TE OR V OL UNTEER. Looking for something to do over the summer? Why not volunteer for a public education advocacy organization? What about working on a political campaign for a pro-public edu- cation candidate? You could even volunteer to serve on ATPE's Legislative Committee and offer your input on our legislative program. If volunteering is too much of a commitment, perhaps you could make a small donation to the cause of your choice. Consider donating to ATPE's own Political Action Committee, which provides biparti- san support to pro-pub- lic education candidates and officeholders.

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