The state constitution says public schools are important for Olympia's lawmakers. The constitution puts it this way (which has probably had legislators laughing about the crumbs they get away with giving schools for decades): "It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders." Yet, while school boards grumble endlessly, they never seem to mount the kind of effective public-relations and lobbying effort the environmental community has learned to coordinate. Consider Seattle Public Schools, where leaders have been saying for years how they were going to work with Olympia for better treatment of education. A check at the SPS Web site shows the School Board had a government relations committee but it's kaputt. Its agenda for legislative action is dated 2006. You snooze, you lose? The board does have a 2009 agenda, as do various boards and groups, including the Washington State School Directors Association. And the nonprofit League of Education Voters is a positive force. But 2009 could be an utterly disastrous year in Olympia for education -- public schools and colleges -- if education itself doesn't work together on a more coordinated, vocal telling of its story -- and its constitutional supremacy.
-- Joe Copeland
Ouch! But is he wrong? We don't have marketing for our district (at all including just asking people, when exiting schools, WHY they are leaving) and apparently not much is happening via the Board or the district at the Legislative level. Even the state PTA has a state lobbyist (you did know this, right? PTA is valuable on many levels).