This guest post is by Stacey Boyd is the Founder and CEO of The Savvy Source for Parents, an online community founded by parents, to help parents make the most of their child’s early education years (www.savvysource.com.)
80% of schools across the country had their budgets slashed last year. There are things parents can do to get informed (and influence decisions) before these big decisions are made.
Stacey Boyd, CEO of Savvy Source, a national resource on finding good schools has these four key tips.
1. Most school board meetings are open to the public. Agendas legally need to be posted in advance of the school board meetings. Call your district and get the both the dates school board meetings are to be held and the agenda (and supporting materials for those meetings). If a budget is being proposed, you should as a member of the public be able to get your hands on it before the meeting.
2. If things that matter to you are being cut, mobilize. Get other parents that are concerned about the same things to appear at the board meeting to speak on behalf of the issue you are concerned about along with you. Coordinate beforehand. Ensure consistent messaging.
3. Realize that budgeting is mostly a zero sum game. If you don’t want something to be cut, you’ll likely need to help figure out what can be! Be part of finding the solution not just defining what cuts you don’t want to happen.
4. If at the end of the day, if the things get cut you believe are essential, don’t despair. Turn to the world of social media and web 2.0 to help minimize those cuts and supplement them. There are some very powerful ways to harness the internet and raise money for causes that matter to you such as Schoola.com. These are not your typical bake sales. They can raise big bucks. And save that art teacher or coveted after school program!