As parents, you know that there’s no substitute for hard work. You can’t wish away the laundry and dinner, just as you can’t wish away the presentation in front of your boss tomorrow morning. Your sons and daughters can’t wish away the dirty dishes in your sink any more than they can magically complete their algebra homework.
Advocacy is no different. There are no magic words or plans that will change opponents into advocates and no data that will reveal once and for all the simple moral truths behind the cause of school choice and parent empowerment.
Instead, every day, every week, and every year together we need to do the hard work of advocacy. We need to make the phone calls, send the letters, and put holes in our heels and sneakers as we walk miles through tangled warrens of House and Senate offices.
That’s why this is my favorite time of year. Across America state legislators are in session and debating the people’s business. NOW is the time for action, which is why the National Coalition for Public School Options puts on Capitol Day rallies throughout America during these months.
Many of you have probably attended one of these in your state. However, you might not have realized that you were part of a national movement. Thousands more parents and students across American joined you in your advocacy. Below are just a few small words and pictures from some of our Capitol Days for you to enjoy.
Thanks for your dedication to the cause of parent empowerment and school choice and thanks for reading.
P.S. – One man who knew all about hard work and advocacy was Delegate Dickie Bell from Virginia, who fought for years on behalf of virtual school families. Del. Bell will be starting his well-earned retirement this year, and we wish him all the best. Read more about this one-of-a-kind advocate here.
New Mexico Capitol Day
Not on our watch! That was the rallying cry of the day at annual New Mexico Capitol Day, when more than 100 parents, students, and educators gathered to rally in support of school choice. Led by National Coalition for Public School Options board member Kyla Anderson, the group rallied against SB 429, a bill aimed like a dagger at New Mexico virtual school students.
Partially thanks for parent advocacy, this terrible bill never gained traction and won’t pass this session. Read blog.
Oklahoma Capitol Day
“Virtual education works for my family and has enabled my children – including my marine son – to succeed in ways we never thought possible,” PSO Board Member Colleen Cook said. “School choice shouldn’t be a policy. It should be a right for all families across America.” Read blog.
Texas Capitol Day
“Now more than ever Texas parents and students deserve the right to more options for education,” PSO Texas Chapter President Shea Mackin said. “Every year we gain momentum throughout the United States and Texas for the simplest of reasons: Giving parents and students the right to choose the most appropriate education for their family is plainly the right thing to do.” Read blog.
Alabama Capitol Day
Three years ago just over 100 parents, students, and teachers gathered together for the first ever Alabama Public School Options Capitol Day. Last week more than 1,000 gathered for the Third Annual Capitol Day.
“I am a teacher in the Montgomery Public School system and I know that for some brick-and-mortar public school is the best option,” PSO Advocate Tynisa Williams said. “However, I also know first-hand the personal challenges each student can face. That’s why my niece is thriving in virtual school currently and why I work so hard to ensure parents know the power of their voices.” Read blog.