Engaging in Public Policy Advancing our Mission Protecting our Independence Advocating for School Choice Engaging in State Legislation and Regulation Processes –Supporting legislation that benefits private school students –Opposing legislation/regulation that could be harmful to our schools and students Providing a face and voice for non-public schools issues in Indiana Ensuring quality educational options for all families
Recent Legislative Victories Choice Programs –Voucher Program: Expansions (Improvements) –Sibling access –F school access –Special education access Program Growth –2011-2012: 3919 students & 16 million dollars –2012-2013: 9300 students & 38 million dollars –2013-2014: 19809 students & 81 million dollars –2014-2015: 29146 students & 119 million dollars (est) Scholarship Tax Credit Improvements –HUGE – No prior year public requirement 7.25 million of tax credit used = 14.5 million in scholarships available Pushback on further state interference (i.e. regulations)
Non-Public School Partnership Non-public schools are willing to partner with the state to improve educational opportunities for families BUT they do not want to be public schools!
Indiana Faces of Choice This year in Indiana there will be well over 29,000 faces of Choice!
Engagement – Own it! It’s everyone’s responsibility! Critical Juncture! Legislative Liaisons Public Policy Goals (2) –Increased contact with Representatives –Parents to tell their stories –Invite a legislator to school –Host or attend an event
What’s a Legislative Liaison? Me Legislative Liaison School
Why Legislative Liaisons? Building a grassroots infrastructure Raising our collective voice Engaging and mobilizing private school communities for private school issues Supporting new legislative initiatives and protecting past successes
LL: Roles and Responsibilities Work with School Administration on Public Policy Issues Educate & Engage your local school community in public policy issues affecting private schools Communicate INPEA public policy issues/alerts to your school community (parents & faculty & staff)
LL: Roles and Responsibilities Help educate your parent community about particular public policy issues(e.g., parent meetings, school newsletters) When necessary and possible encourage involvement in statehouse rallies or legislative committee hearings Share the private school perspective on issues with your elected representatives or public school representatives (write/call/attend hearings) and encourage others to do the same. Set school goals for public policy engagement Develop a communication plan for public policy issues/alerts
Understanding the Legislative Process Bill Drafting Bill Introduction Committee Hearing (Maybe) –Typically either House or Senate Education Committees –Although could be in one of the finance related committees –Opportunity for public testimony IF it passes out of committee:
Understanding the Legislative Process Goes to full Chamber (House or Senate) Floor –Second Reading (amendments can be proposed) –Amended Bill (if amended) goes to THIRD Reading –Third Reading – Full Chamber votes on the Bill If passed by the full chamber it then goes to the other chamber and starts over –Committee hearings –If passed out of committee, it then goes to full chamber for second and third reading –If passed by the second chamber unchanged it then goes to the Governor for his signature –If it was amended in the second Chamber it must go back to the original chamber for another vote. The second chamber can concur or dissent - If they dissent the bill then goes to conference committee.
Important Clarifications Legislation vs. Regulation/Rule vs. Administration –Legislation occurs in the General Assembly –Rule for education law is developed by either the State Board of Education or Department of Education –Administration is the responsibility of the designated state agency (in many cases IDOE for education issues but not always)
Opportunities to Engage Contact committee members (especially if their your representative)* Testify in committee hearings Contact your representative when amendments are being proposed* Contact your representative when the full House or Senate is voting on a bill* Visit the statehouse to talk to your representative Talk to your representative when they are back in their home districts Encourage others to engage* (numbers count)!!! *Use INPEA’s Legislative Action Center
Other ways to engage! Every School sets TWO public policy goals –Invite a legislator to your school –Have the students write thank you cards at Thanksgiving. –Organize or participate in a Legislator “Reach Out” event (e.g. come together and write letters /send emails after a parent meeting) –Participate in an event or rally (at the statehouse or locally)
The Lafayette Rally Other areas too?? Focus on Celebration and Thanksgiving –Getting out the positive Catholic, Lutheran, Christian schools working together Leaders, students and parents involved Media invited Invite Legislators
Our Legislative Priorities Protect and Defend !!!!!! Raise Scholarship Tax Credit Cap Remove $4800 Elementary Voucher Cap Regulatory and Reporting Control! Funding for Diagnostic Assessment (Acuity)
How to stay informed Watch for INPEA Updates and INPEA Alerts! Stay up to the minute by following John on twitter: –@inpeajohn (follow John at the Statehouse, State board, and other INPEA events) –@inpea_voice (follow general INPEA info) –Like INPEA Facebook Page (Indiana Non-Public Education Association)
Let’s Start Now! Discuss your school’s 2 public policy goals –What will they be? –Who needs to do what to get things done? –What’s your timeline? –Who else needs to be involved? –How will you engage others? Homework –What will you need to do tomorrow to begin accomplishing your goals?
INPEA Indiana Non-Public Education Association John Elcesser Executive Director 1400 N. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46202 317-236-7329 firstname.lastname@example.org @inpeajohn (Twitter) Indiana Non-Public Education Association (Facebook) www.inpea.org