During a MA PTA Board Meeting via conference call yesterday, I found out I may have the opportunity to attend the Federal Legislative Conference in DC this March. To help put this in to perspective a bit regarding how excited I am about this possibility, last years guest speaker was Michelle Obama. I am not sure who it will be this year.
The first day of the conference is workshops. I have already picked the workshops that I would like to participate in (Taking It To The Hill: PTA's 2011 Public Policy Agenda, 21st Century Voices: Using the Power Of Social Media to Persuade and Inform, Education and the Federal Budget, and Using Family Engagement to Drive Student Achievement). The next day is visits to Capitol Hill to meet with our MA senators and representatives to bring forth our PTA message and the Public Policy Agenda.
If this all works out, I couldn't even begin to tell you how excited I would be to do this.
We also started planning our visit to Beacon Hill to discuss the budget with our local and state representatives. We have a room reserved that hold 50 people (100 if we are standing). It will be sent out to PTA members statewide to attend and we (or me being he advocacy chair) will present our thoughts and concerns regarding the state budget and how it relates to children. I am pretty excited about this too (except for the part that involves driving or otherwise commuting to Boston).
Over the next few weeks I plan to do a lot of homework. I am going to review all of my information about advocacy, how a bill becomes a law, when bills are brought forth, deadlines, the re-authorization of ESEA, and the just released 2011 Public Policy Agenda. I want to make sure I am 100% confident and ready (even though at this point I have committed a lot of this to memory already).