Lobbying Tips for Families

  1. Be polite, courteous and introduce every member of the family
    1. Children – be ready to shake hands and say hello
    2. Parents – remember your legislator may not have many opportunities to interact with homeschool families so you are not just there to talk about one bill… you are representing all homeschool families
  2. Be prepared to discuss key aspects on the Bill in two to three concise sound bites
    1. Your time with the legislator will go quickly
    2. Leave them with a few key points that they will remember and consider
  3. Be ready to explain how the Bill will help families
    1. Personal stories and examples are an excellent way to compel action
    2. Legislators need to understand the why; we want them to remember your family and your story when they are ready to cast a vote
  4. Recognize potential objections to the Bill and be ready to alleviate concerns without being defensive or argumentative
    1. Know the potential objections:
      1. Does the current legislation really need to be fixed?
      2. Will this legislation hurt struggling schools?
      3. In a time of tight budgets and deficits will this Bill raise costs?
    2. Consider positive ways to address potential objections
      1. This Bill is a simple but important adjustment to the current law, not a fundamental change
      2. This legislation does not impact statewide education in anyway, instead it makes things easier and less burdensome for struggling school systems
      3. This legislation will not raise education costs… (remember homeschooling saves taxpayers money because it is not subsidized by public funds)
  5. Be prepared to present some key facts about homeschooling
    1. There are over 2.4 million homeschool students in America
    2. It is a growing trend across all income levels and ethnicities with an estimated growth rate as high as 8%
    3. On average homeschool students score 15-30% higher on standardized tests than public school students
    4. Homeschool families are not dependent on tax money for education – homeschooling results in estimated cost savings to taxpayers of over $16 Billion
  6. Do not be discouraged or disappointed if you end up meeting with a Staff Member
    1. It is very common for schedule and meeting changes to result in Legislators having to designate a trusted Staffer to meet with you
    2. Remember the Staffer is the eyes and ears of their Legislator – treat them with the same respect and they convey the message

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