Below are some of the tools we use to facilitate community involvement in the policy-making process.
SLCE supports community members in hosting small, informal meetings with peers, during which people are able to share their stories and experiences with educational issues here in Louisiana. By sharing these stories, community members are able to better understand each others' viewpoints when it comes to public education and feel a part of a coalition of people with similar experiences.
SLCE is also able to gain a much deeper understanding of the issues that affect public education in our region, which we are then able to use to identify issues taht are widely and deeply felt across the region, which drives our policy platform and interests as we move forward.
The SLCE Issues Assembly allows us to gather together educators, students, families and community members from across the South Louisiana region in a large (150+ people) group. Once the group assembles, we examine the issues that have been surfaced during House Parties and other interactions with the community. This diverse group is then able to discuss and debate these issues until we identify the top issues that are affecting schools and educational institutions across our region.
Issues identified can be related to a wide variety of issues, such as the School-to-Prison Pipeline, school funding issues, inequitably-administered disciplinary policies, school governance issues, and many other factors that impact the success of our public schools.
Issue Action Team
Once our top issues are identified at the Issues Assembly, SLCE moves into Issue Action Teams, where groups of SLCE members select one of the identified issues, research its causes and possible solutions deeply, and seek to identify a way to move forward. Once a possible solution is identified, the Issue Action Teams seek to identify specific, concrete actions that can be taken by SLCE to effect change on their chosen issue.
After Issue Action Teams determine the right concrete action steps to take, SLCE may move into Public Action. At this stage in the process, we seek to take concrete steps within a public setting to facilitate the desired change that we seek. Examples of Public Action can include public meetings/forums with elected officials, candidate forums, meetings with and testimony before publicly elected legislative bodies, and a wide variety of other strategies. These actions allow us to partner with public officials and also hold them accountable to agreed upon policy changes.