School board races may be confronting national issues (divisive topics, book banning, etc.), but they are ultimately WON locally. Local groups who can get out the vote, keep the community informed, and who know the issues on the ground are invaluable to turning out the vote. 

 

When done right, digital and community engagement can help members of a community feel seen and heard. The tips below will help give students, parents, and community members the tools to support one another as they navigate school board meetings and online spaces.

 

Types of Groups

  1. Online group - Zoom or Facebook or Instagram group centered around an issue serves to inform voters, give out voting information and to rally voters around a particular issue

  2. In -person group - centered around a theme to help get the vote out and share voter information

  3. Topics groups might center around - examples

    • Equity and diversity group

    • Public school supporters group

    • Supporting students group

    • Politically connected group

    • Educator supporting group

  4. Do you want it to be a voluntary informal group or a PAC?

  5. Do you want to actively get out the vote/call voters?

  6. Do you want to support other education friendly races, also?

 

Starting a Group

  1. Find a few like-minded friends

  2. Decide on the “issue” your group will center around

    • Not just what you are against (you should know that)

    • What are you for? What is the future you see?

    • Why is this issue important to each of you?

  3. Decide on roles of member leaders at first two meetings

  4. Decide on local meaningful name that’s easy to distinguish

  5. Decide on method of communication - an email, a Google listserv, a Facebook or Instagram account or website - so other local people can join in and get information

  6. Decide on privacy levels for the group - is it by invitation, can anyone join? Some groups create a public Facebook page and then a private Facebook group for strategizing and planning.  Or a public Facebook page, but use emails to communicate plans.

  7. Design any logo or branding you might want to use to identify your group - you can use Canva.com to create a free icon if desired.

  8. Decide on the target audience for your group - all voters, all public ed supporters, just women, youth voters, neighbors, etc.

  9. Decide on actions your group wants to undertake & write them down 

  10. Research and decide on messaging themes for best impact

  11. Identify future target dates for items like these; set timeline

    • Gathering more members via social media

    • Educating voters about role of school board or other local positions

    • Postcard writing

    • Get out the vote door knocking or phone banking?

    • Hosting house parties for candidates

    • Hosting online forum for candidates

    • Written questions for candidates

    • Hosting online education events or webinar- i.e. How libraries select materials; how school boards work; how teachers choose curriculum; how to register voters, etc. etc.  with informed speakers

    • Voter registration or ballot education

 

Gaining Members

  1. Start with your small initiating group and then ask each person to invite others

  2. Share your new group on other sympathetic Facebook or Instagram pages

  3. Tag school district on FB, Twitter or Instagram posts to increase visibility

  4. Keep tone professional at all times to avoid alienating like minded community members

  5. Design a t-shirt or something that can be worn in public to attract interest/attention

  6. Have start up meetings at easy local locations or on Zoom to outline a few goals to guide the group and to make introductions.

  7. Invite local guest speakers or candidates to meetings to gain more knowledge/more attendance.

  8. Hold “public school” celebration events in local locations with guest speakers, activities for kids, voter registration etc.

 

Getting Started

Every little bit of advocacy helps bring attention to school board races!  Consider coordinating with other local groups, too, or candidates to make sure the support you provide is what’s needed.  Helping people become aware of and invested in voting school board races in your area is key.