In the past legislative session, I had the opportunity to serve as a policy ambassador for the UEA. Through the educational seminar, I learned a lot about the legislative process and was able to game plan for the big day in a strategy session the night before. I had the privilege of meeting and advocating for public education with my state representative and state senator in the capitol building. While these were great experiences, the most important lesson I learned was how crucial the UEA policy staff is in advancing the interests of public schools.
Chase Clyde, Sara Jones, Jay Blain, and Eric Blackham have our backs. They are on top of every issue, constantly communicating with legislators, the governor’s office, and the USBE to advocate for policies that benefit public schools. Although policies may not always turn out as we hope, we can be confident that policymakers take public education seriously when making decisions because of the efforts of this team. They are intelligent, thoughtful, tough and effective.
However, we cannot solely rely on the policy team to protect and improve public education. Each of us must also do our part. It is essential to regularly communicate with our local legislators about critical education issues and concerns. We must participate in education advocacy events, be active members of our local education associations, and serve in leadership positions like A.R. and Executive Board. Furthermore, we can contribute to our local and State P.A.C.s to help elect education-friendly policymakers. Most importantly, we must encourage our colleagues who are not members of the association to join because there is strength in numbers. The more of us involved, the better we are.
In summary, the UEA policy staff is a vital component in advancing public education interests, but each of us must also take responsibility for advocating for public education. Through individual efforts, we can strengthen the collective voice of educators and make a significant impact on policies that impact public schools.
Murray High School