|When CASB first explored the idea last fall of inviting members from our
12 regions to join us at the state capitol, we didn’t know what to
expect. We kicked off our Day at the Capitol advocacy program in January
and the enthusiastic participation blew us away – 100 school board
members and superintendents representing 43 districts!
For some, it was a chance to learn how the legislative process works –
observe the House and Senate from the floor, watch legislators in action
at the education committee meetings, or tour the capitol. Others used
it as an opportunity to build relationships with their legislators –
meet face-to-face, invite them to lunch or a school board meeting, or
talk to them about their district’s successes, needs or concerns.
And for others it was a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the crucial work
CASB does to advocate for its members. Whether it was witnessing Jane
Urschel’s always eloquent (and sometimes heated) testimony, watching her
powwow with legislators and other lobbyists, or furiously taking
notes/sending texts/emailing – they left with a undeniable answer to the
question: “What exactly does CASB do at the state capitol?”
On April 17, our final “day,” Jane presented Deb Spenceley, Elizabeth
C-1 board member, with the Shining Star Award for her impressive
attendance – 9 out of 11 days. The award noted her journey from
“legislative newbie to capitol queen,” and her commitment to school
board advocacy, eagerness to learn the legislative process and for
sharing her insights with her fellow board members.
“From the very first one, I was hooked,” Deb said of her weekly visits.
As a new board member, not only did Deb learn the important role she
plays as an advocate for her board, but she also witnessed first hand
CASB’s role in representing the interests of its members. “It was
amazing to see the influence of CASB,” she said.
With one year now under our belt, we want to make next year’s Day at the
Capitol program even better. We’d love to hear your feedback and ideas.
Send an email to Nancy McKendry, advocacy executive assistant, at .
|“Compromise seems to be at the forefront the entire time, but I am always proud of the eloquence and knowledge of CASB members. I knew, but it was reinforced how hard the CASB staff works. The privilege of talking for over an hour and a half with Sen. Johnston about the finance bill will not happen again.”
Aurora Public Schools Board Member
|“I developed a better understanding of the legislative process. While I saw some similarities between the Joint Education Committee meeting and our general work session process, I also developed a deeper appreciation of what exactly happens when bills are not being passed, and legislators are learning about the issues more deeply. Very interesting!”
Eagle County Board Member
|“I enjoyed the event very much. It was my first time witnessing the work that goes on at the capitol and I was fascinated. Thank you for providing some guidance and the little push that I needed to step inside the capitol.”
Rocky Ford Board Member