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.
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.
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.
How to Hold Schools Accountable
Often, community problems or issues are too large and complex for any one agency or organization to tackle. Putting together a coalition of groups and individuals can be an effective strategy for changing the programs and policies - in schools, business, government, and other relevant sectors - that are needed to solve the problem or achieve a shared goal.
Attending Town Meetings
Each town has a different way of running its Town Meeting, depending on its bylaws or charter. Sometimes the customs and traditions are written down; sometimes they are not.
This guide is a general outline of the Town Meeting Basics, some of the procedures may be used in one town and not another. The guide provides a broad overview designed to encourage you to find out more and attend your own Town Meeting.
If you have any questions regarding the specific procedures employed by your town, please contact your Town Clerk or Town Meeting Moderator.
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.
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.
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.
The Ladybug Story: A Story about Lawmaking
Click the image to read the true story of how a second grade class helped to make a new state law.
The story encourages young students to use their voice to suggest new solutions -- showing that everyone has the power to make changes in the way things have traditionally been done.