Advocacy/Legislative

Making a Difference in Florida and Becoming an Advocate for Social Studies 

We need your help! Join F.C.S.S. and become a member of the legislative ‘grassroots’ committee. If you don’t have the time for this, consider making an extra financial contribution to F.C.S.S. for this purpose!

For more information please contact advocacy@fcss.org

Speaking of advocacy, it is important that we as social studies educators be prepared to support our community across all of our disparate content areas. NCSS has recently released an advocacy guide to provide us with support in this effort, and so here are a few tips on how you can be an advocate for a strong social studies community and curriculum: 

  • Recognize that we are stronger TOGETHER! Sign up for advocacy alert list-serves from NCSS, the Council for Economic Education, the Network of Alliances for Geographic Education, the National Coalition for History and the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. Each time they send an alert requesting action, please respond and take action. One of the biggest challenges in effective Social Studies advocacy is for proponents of the disciplines (Civics, Economics, Geography and History) to squabble over scraps. That is tremendously counter-productive. Collaborate to achieve mutual goals. Each discipline should be mutually supportive of each other’s policy goals whenever possible.
  • Power in numbers! Encourage your colleagues to become engaged! Let them know how to sign up for alerts. Share the alerts you receive with your colleagues, and encourage them to take action, too. When a Congressperson or Senator receives a few dozen requests to take action, they are more likely to do so, then if they had received 2 or 3 requests.
  • Let your  policymakers see social studies in action! Brainstorm with your colleagues on ways to engage policymakers in the Social Studies in your area. Policymakers or their senior staff can visit schools; Skype with classes; present Social Studiesrelated awards; meet with student government or newspaper staff. Be creative! If you can’t get the Member of Congress, ask for a representative from the closest District office.
  • Know the issues! Familiarize yourself with the current education reform issues in your state and how they relate to (or leave out) the Social Studies. Look for openings to inject content, increase resources or time allocations. Spot trouble with proposed reforms before those reforms become a problem. Work to have a voice in all reform discussions.
  • Careful with your words and actions! Remember the Republican or Democrat you offend today, may become the Committee Chairperson deciding the fate of your discipline tomorrow.
  • Don’t be shy! Let NCSS, the Council for Economic Education, the National Geographic Alliance, the National Coalition for History and the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools know what you need from them to be effective advocates for the Social Studies!

 

For more information on how we can be advocates for our beloved profession, take a look at the NCSS's Advocacy Guide, from which a portion of this page has been adapted. Become an advocate today! 


And now is your chance to BE an advocate! 

As you know, the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is awaiting a final vote following a bi-partisan conference committee agreement. In addition to addressing undue testing pressures created through No Child Left Behind, the new act recognizes the importance of the social studies in meeting the needs of future citizens in our schools:

 

  •          Section 2302 provides competitive funding to local educational agencies (LEA) to promote the teaching of traditional American history as a separate academic subject.
  •          Section 2303 provides competitive funding for establishing intensive academies for teachers and students to learn more about history and civics.
  •          Section 2304 authorizes competitive grants to non-profit organizations to develop a range of innovative approaches designed to engage underserved students in history, civics, and geography.
  •          Section 1005 allows parent engagement funds to be used to support financial literacy activities for parents and their students.

 

In order for this to become law, it must first get through Congress, so PLEASE contact your Congressperson and get them to vote for the ESEA reauthorization! You can find your representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/