STAT's Top 5 Tips for State-Level Advocacy

1. Know Your Representative

2. Understand the Roles and Responsibilities of Each Elected Official

    • To communicate effectively with elected officials, understand who is responsible for which issues. For public education, the Texas Legislature is responsible for issues related to school finance, minimum teacher salary schedule, Teacher Retirement System (TRS) programs, your contract rights, overall testing requirements, etc. In general, all curriculum matters, including the revision/adoption of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), fall under the purview of the State Board of Education (SBOE).

3. Rely on Information Only From Reputable Sources

    • It's important to rely and act on information only from trustworthy sources such as STAT, TEA, your general education association (e.g., ATPE, TCTA, TSTA, or Texas AFT), or reliable news outlets, such as The Texas Tribune or your community newspaper. If you can't directly source a social media post to a reputable organization, please consider it with some skepticism.

4. Cultivate Relationships With Your Elected Officials

    • Elected officials have the ability to see when you last voted so make sure to vote.
    • Attend public events such as coffees, roundtables, public speaking events, etc., and network.
    • If they've impressed you, let them know through a letter or email.
    • If you've read an article that reminds you of something they said, send them a link or a hard copy of it.
    • Follow them on social media, repost, or retweet their posts and tag them to promote your pride in being represented by them.
    • Go to the source! Contact your elected officials directly with any questions you have, asking them to explain or elaborate. Follow up with a thank-you letter and tagged post on social media to communicate how helpful they were.
    • During meetings, be considerate of their time, succinct, polite, and specific. Don't assume they know what you know, as very few are former educators. 
    • Always refer back to the best interests of the students, not you as the educator.
    • Share a relatable story from your classroom.
    • Always ask! The worst they can do is say no; if they say no, find out why so you can come back later with a better proposal.
    • Remember that phone calls, emails, letters, and in-person visits are recorded by staffers, so although it might seem no one is listening, they are taking note of the message you impart.

5. Serve as a Resource for Elected Officials

    • Elected officials must make decisions about a wide range of issues, and they rely on constituents to guide them! Volunteer to be a resource on science education issues. TEA also routinely seeks nominations for volunteers for various committees, an experience that provides opportunities to meet and interact with many personnel from a variety of TEA departments. To be considered for service on the TEA Educator Committee, please visit

STAT's Top Tips for Local Advocacy

How to Cultivate Relationships With Administrators and School Board Members

It's important to build relationships with your district administrators and elected officials before approaching them with a problem or issue.

    • Attend school board meetings to learn about board members' priorities and perspectives. Communicate your appreciation for their service.  
    • Stay focused on one issue and craft a message clearly stating how students are affected. Be certain to include all relevant data to support your request or concern. If you have a solution that requires funding, include research on cost implementation and possible funding sources.
    • Ensure your message is crafted professionally and positively and avoid leaving negative comments on issues, especially on social media. 
    • A positive way to showcase your message and garner attention is to secure awards and grant money. If you receive an award from outside of your district (such as a STAT award or a CAST scholarship), share the news on social media or via a press release to your communications department. The best way is to sponsor your students as they win awards, create amazing products, or participate in innovative experiences. Follow the lead of the fine arts and athletics departments that have mastered this approach. 
    • Invite superintendent, school board members, and your State Board of Education (SBOE) representative into your classroom to observe a lesson or to judge an event, letting them know they will be given a rubric to follow.
    • Post pictures with a description such as “Science in Action” on your school's and/or district's social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
    • Create events on the school's and/or district's social media, and invite elected officials as well as everyone in the community to attend (e.g., Science Night). Post pictures of the superintendent, school board members, SBOE representative, and other elected officials participating in an activity at the event, thanking them for their involvement. Ensure you tag them appropriately on social media.
Download STAT's Tips for Advocacy Flyer