Parents' Guides to Advocacy

We've curated the following resources to guide you through challenges you may encounter as grow your skills and learn how to hold systems accountable.

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Advocating on the Individual Level

Individual level advocacy includes your ability to communicate and speak up about issues that are important to you or your child.

 

Sample Letters and Emails

Sample Emails and Phone Scripts for requesting COVID services and records

Evaluation Request Letter

More Resources

How to Let the School Know About Your Concerns

Parent- Teacher Conference Checklist

Tips for Parent- Teacher Conferences

 
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MAC IEP Helpline

We provide help for children who are facing barriers to receiving educational supports and services to which they are legally entitled.

Youth Conference

Advocating on the Local Level

Local advocacy includes organizing with other parents, forming or joining parent councils, and making sure all students in the community have access to equitable educations.

 

Parent Council Organizations: Description of Roles

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Building coalitions can be challenging, but check out this checklist to help guide you.

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Advocating on the State Level

To start advocating on the state level, it is important to have a basic understanding of the state's priorities, budget and key players. 

Key Players

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: 

  • Implement and enforce policies around education
  • Provides leadership, oversight, funding, support, and accountability for approximately 400 of the Commonwealth's school districts.

  • Oversees programs that serve 20,000 adult learners each year.

  • Connection between Administration and Advisory Councils.

  • Implement Professional Development for the teachers and administrative staff.

Key Strategies

  • Determine the message you want to tell.

  • Be polite and professional.

  • Show facts and cases.

  • Bring pictures and/or emails to show evidence.

  • Have Petition and signature to show.

  • Establish measurable outcome.

State House

  • The State House works with the Executive Office, the Massachusetts Legislature, state agencies, and the Massachusetts Historical Commission in preserving, maintaining and restoring the Massachusetts state capitol.

  • Primary offices of all the Commonwealth's Constitutional officers are in the state house, including– 

    • Governor and Lieutenant Governor

    • House and Senate clerks, House and Senate counsel, and Legislative Information Services.

Key Strategies

  • Know your State Rep & their Aide.

  • Make an appointment with them before you show up.

  • Inform them about a bill or the work you are doing.

  • Keep them accountable the promises made, if elected, by remaining in touch with them.

 
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For more information about the state's budget process, visit the Legislative and Budget Advocacy page from Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.

Advocacy Resources:

Assessing the Landscape for Legislative Action in Your State from the National Association for Gifted Children

Family Advocacy Toolkit from the Massachusetts Education Equity Partnership

New State and Federal Funding FAQs from the Massachusetts Education Equity Partnership

Funding Needs in Massachusetts Letter submitted by the Massachusetts Education Equity Partnership

Advocacy Toolkit from the National Parent Teacher Association

 

Contact Your Elected Officials

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Look up their email and other direct contact information via

www.wheredoivotema.com

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Calling the State House switchboard:

617-722-2000