Legislative Advocacy for Education

Legislative Advocacy for EducationCreating a presence in Harrisburg and building positive relationships with our legislators has proved beneficial to the Berks County education community. Growing familiarity between our school leaders and our local legislators has been an excellent strategy to leverage awareness, advocacy, and support of local issues in need of attention for the benefit of Berks County school districts.

Two events were scheduled recently to assist in our advocacy efforts:

SUPERINTENDENTS’ STUDY COUNCIL

Berks County superintendents visited Harrisburg on October 25 and 26, 2017, to connect with legislative leaders as part of their 2017 Study Council event. When the group arrived at the Capitol, they were greeted in the Rotunda by Senator Judy Schwank and were later able to meet with Senator Patrick Browne, Senate Appropriations Chair, and Representative David Hickernell, House Education Chair. Among the many topics for discussion were the Act 1 Keystone Exams Graduation Requirement, Career Pathways Education, and the Berks County Committee on Legislative Action (COLA). That evening, Hannah Barrick, PASBO Director of Advocacy, provided the group with valuable information on proposed legislation and regulations.

Guest speakers and roundtable discussions on the second day were with Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera, Deputy Secretary Matt Stem, OCDEL Deputy Secretary Suzann Morris, and PA Association of School Administrators’ Executive Director, Dr. Mark DiRocco. Legislative Advocacy for Education Berks Coumty superintendents meet with Senator Patrick Browne, Senate Appropriations Chair.

PAIU FALL DAY ON THE HILL

The Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units (PAIU) coordinated a PAIU Fall Day on the Hill on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, for intermediate unit representatives to visit the Capitol and meet with legislators to share information about the important work of intermediate units throughout the Commonwealth. To start the day, all legislators and staff were invited to join IU leaders in the East Wing Rotunda for a one-hour meet-and-greet networking session, where information was displayed and videos shown about intermediate unit initiatives.

After the networking session, IU representatives met with their local legislators to share information specific to their IU. Dr. Jill Hackman and Mrs. Michelle Reichard Huff represented Berks County Intermediate Unit and were able to meet with Senator David Argall and Senator Judy Schwank to share information specific to Berks County, to discuss ways the BCIU can support them and their efforts, and other legislative priorities. Additionally, Dr. Hackman joined PAIU Executive Director Tom Gluck in a meeting with Senator John Eichelberger, Chair of the Senate Education Committee.