Each legislative representative, representing their school district and community, has the unique opportunity to shape advocacy efforts at the local, state, and federal levels. As a leader on their board, they can provide other members with essential and timely communications to inform future laws and state budgets. Legislative representatives serve as a voice for their board by representing their district’s priorities, needs, and values. This starts with the relationships they have with fellow board members, school district staff, community members, local organizations, and other elected officials.
Each school board is encouraged to identify a member who will serve as the point of contact for legislative updates and advocacy efforts. This individual may be appointed or elected and is deemed the legislative representative, otherwise known as the “leg rep.” The method of selecting the leg rep should be identified in each board’s policy.
Each school board can designate the length of time for a member to serve as a legislative representative. It is suggested that a member serve no less than two years in order to grow within the role.
The amount of time needed to effectively serve as a legislative representative is variable depending on the expectations of the board and the interest of the representative. Based on discussions with current legislative representatives, the estimated time is 0 to 20 hours/month.
As outlined in WSSDA’s Operating Policy 2084, the suggested responsibilities of a legislative representative are to:
Additionally, leg reps are encouraged to engage in each stage of the advocacy cycle.
At the Advocacy Insights webinar series you can learn from experts, legislators and other school board members. The webinars will help Legislative Representatives engage fellow board members and legislators in preparation for the WSSDA General Assembly and the next legislative session. All school board members are welcome!