Issues & Action - Raise Your Hand Campaign - Message Suggestions
Tell Your Story
The most powerful way school employees can communicate about school funding is to tell their own stories and the stories of their students. This is especially true when speaking with state lawmakers and other community leaders.
Most people soon forget statistics. State lawmakers are no exception. But few forget a poignant story told by a caring teacher, bus driver or cafeteria worker.
Lawmakers do not expect you to be a school funding expert. They respect your expertise on what you need to assure that all students are safe and learn to their potential. You, your family, and your students’ families are important constituents of elected officials. They want to hear from you.
Have your class sizes increased?
Tell how this hurts your ability to reach every student and those students you find you cannot spend enough time with.
Have new textbooks and other instructional materials been eliminated?
Tell how this reduces your ability to teach students an up-to-date curriculum.
Has your own professional development been cut?
Talk about the challenges you face finding the resources to learn what you need to differentiate instruction, the new standards, and the new effectiveness system.
Has your school cut back on school resource officers?
Talk about the challenges in keeping the whole school safe without this trained pair of eyes.
Has your paid work year been cut back?
Talk about how you work a long year but with no pay for days you used to be paid for. This constitutes more than a 1% cut in pay. Also talk about all the demands on your time, between PLCs, increased meetings, more time spent learning about KCAS, PGES and other initiatives.
Are you paying more for KTRS?
Talk about how the additional contribution you are making to assure your health care upon retirement has reduced your take-home pay by 2%.
Are you paying more for health care?
Tell about the challenges of affording good health insurance for your family.
Is your take-home pay less today than it was five years ago?
Inflation has gone up 6.75% over the last five years. If your pay has not increased by this much, be specific about how much less you are paid. Talk about how this hurts your ability to provide for your family. Talk about the money you can no longer afford to spend at local businesses, whether it’s going out to eat or replacing your children’s shoes or getting them braces.
Are you spending more out of your own pocket to provide for your students?
Tell how budget cutbacks have forced you to dip into your own scarce resources because you care deeply for your students. You’re stepping up, even when the General Assembly does not.