Opinion: 7 Tips for Parents Who Want to Speak Out at School Board Meetings and Be Effective Advocates for Students

Not happy with how things are going in your school district? Then make some good trouble!

Thanks to NJ Education Report and The 74 for reprinting my tips for speaking at school board meetings. 

Many parents think the best way to help their kids survive a public school system with competing interests and dwindling resources is to volunteer for PTAs and to provide tons of unpaid labor for the schools, which can be later traded for certain advantages for their particular kids — entrance into a specialized program or choice of better teachers. Over time, I’ve found that speaking at school board meetings is a more effective tool, especially when the goal is to help all kids, not just your kid.

Last month, I planned to talk at our school board meeting about the need for an 18-to-21 program in our town and how their proposed plan could be better. Other times, I’ve spoken out about the impact of school closures on academics, an audit of our special education program that did not get attention and the appropriate usage of particular federal funds.

Read more here.


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