Know Your Power: Engaging with State Policymakers about Teacher Shortages NNSTOY Webinar - November 15, 2016 Allison Riddle, 2014 Utah STOY @utahTOY2014 Jane West, NNSTOY Government Relations Advisor @janewestdc
Teacher Shortages in the U.S. • 60,000 short in 2017, possible 100,000 shortage by 2018 • 35% decline in enrollment prep programs in last 5 years • Teacher salaries are 70% of other bachelor’s degrees • Half of all schools and 90% of high poverty schools struggle to find qualified special education teachers • Four times as many uncertified teachers in high vs. low minority schools • Special education, STEM and ELL have greatest shortages
Retention and Reasons for Leaving • 8% turnover annually; greatest in high need schools • 40-50% of new teachers leave in first five years • Reasons for leaving include: • Compensation • Lack of preparation • Weak induction programs, admin support • Infrequent collaboration with colleagues • Few advancement options • Disproportionate focus on standardized testing • Poor retirement programs
Teacher Shortages in Utah • In 2015, uncertified teachers employed in 48% of districts • Since 2012, persistent shortages in chemistry, math, and special ed candidates • Since 2011, decreased enrollments of 2,000+ in preparation programs • From 2010 – 2015, student population grew 10%; classroom teachers increased 9%.
Utah Teacher Retention Retention Facts Possible Causes Teachers are paid .70 on the dollar compared to average bachelor’s degree recipients in Utah. Utah’s classrooms have second largest student-to-teacher ratio in the U.S. Utah has no statewide comprehensive mentoring program. • Nearly 15% of new Utah teachers quit after the first year. • After five years, 42% leave the classroom. Source: Utah Education Policy Center
Question # 1 How do you decide who to meet with and when?
Considerations for Question #1 • Who holds authority and responsibility over your issue? What specifically is their authority? • What is the change you are seeking? Legislative? Regulatory? State? District? • What matters in terms of timing? Legislative action? Events/activities related to your issue?
Question #2 What do you need to know about the policy makers you are meeting with?
Considerations for Question #2 • What is his/her role? • What is his/her political affiliationand activity within the party? • Is he/she up for re-election now or next year? • What is his/her track record? • Which noted groups does this person work with? • What hot button issues might you want to avoid?
Question #3 What do you need to know about the policy problemand those who disagree with you?
Considerations for question #3 • What are the causes of the problem, and what are possible solutions? • What does your opposition think? What evidence do you have? • What are the politics of those who oppose your position? • Might there be some common ground with your opponents?
Question #4 What matters in messaging?
Considerations for question #4 • A succinct problem statement with a foreshadowing of a solution • Data and a GREAT story to demonstrate your issue • Illustrate your personal connection to the issue • Describe your proposal and why it will work • Describe the benefits for the public and policy
Question #5 What is the role of allies?
Considerations for question #5 • Unity is powerful: we hang together so we don’t hang separately • Other voices might be more readily heard than yours because of political affiliation, personal reasons, voting district, etc.
Question #6 How do you position yourself as “go to” resource for policy makers?
Considerations for question #6 • Ask what other information you can provide • Respond quickly with promised information • Stay in touch regularly; Twitter, email updates, good news • Invite policy makers to your school or visit them • Alert the media to any events involving students and policy makers
Question #7 What do you think is the most important skill that makes you an effective professional in the policy arena?
And remember…….. If you are not at the table…. You are probably on the menu!
Additional Opportunities • Videos made by STOYS: http://www.nnstoy.org/video-series-strategies-to-engage-effectively-with-state-policymakers/ • NNSTOY 2017 National Conference in Washington, DC: • July 15-19 • July 19 is Day on the Hill: Meet with your Congressional delegation!