One of the most important services that NCASA has provided and must continue to provide to its member school administrators, and to public education in general, is to serve as an effective advocate on their behalf in the public policy arena that impacts the funding and daily operations of the state’s Pre-K-12 education system. To do this, NCASA must remain non-partisan and find ways to work with elected officials at the federal, state and local levels of government as well as with other decision-making entities that include, but are not limited to, the State Board of Education, the State Health Plan, and the Teachers and State Employees’ Retirement System. Specific directives that NCASA must undertake in its advocacy efforts include the following:
• Ensure that all advocacy efforts undertaken by NCASA hold true to the organization’s vision, mission and goals by making positive outcomes for public school students the main priority.
• Identify the organization’s member school administrators as “subject matter experts” who are crucial participants in all public policy conversations about what should or should not occur in public schools across the state.
• Distinguish NCASA as an organization not satisfied with the status quo but dedicated to transforming public education to better meet the needs of all students.
• Build upon NCASA’s current reputation among public policy leaders as a rational and non-partisan sounding board that should be consulted in all public education issues.
• Collaborate, when practicable, with other education organizations that share the same goals for strong and effective public schools, but separate NCASA from any collaboration that public policy leaders would view as partisan or offensive and that would be counter-productive to ensuring positive outcomes for public school students.
• Engage in positive communications with public policy leaders that is cognizant of the tone and messages that are essential for obtaining positive outcomes for public school students.
• Be mindful that innovation for positive outcomes for students may differ from the majority opinion among school administrators and that the minority opinion has an important place in issue discussions affecting public education.
• Enlist retired school administrators who are committed to NCASA’s vision, mission and goals to help with the organization’s advocacy efforts.
• Increase collaboration among the affiliated groups under NCASA’s umbrella for a more unified voice in advocacy efforts aimed at strengthening and enhancing public schools and ensuring positive outcomes for students.