ESEA Action Alert

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 16, 2015

Dear AOE:

As the National Urban League Education Taskforce Co-chairs, we write to urge you to take action to preserve equity and civil rights in education.  The next few weeks are critical for the future of public education in our country as Congress is currently considering reauthorization (and, therein, changes to) the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This landmark law has been in place for 50 years setting forth the federal role in K-12 education. You can brush up on what’s critical to the civil rights community in ESEA here by reviewing our shared principles for the reauthorization.

The National Urban League and other allies are working to ensure that the important federal role in education - and what that role means to African American communities and other underserved communities – is lifted up in the ESEA debate. Importantly, they are strategically notifying media outlets, and members of Congress, to let them know what’s important to the community – and to our country – with respect to this law.

And they are respectfully asking for our help.

As the U.S. Senate is about to consider different proposals for what to change in the law, they have requested we contact our U.S. Senators and make sure they hear from us as well as others who matter most in this debate – our students, parents, and community members– especially next week when they are home for the President’s Day recess (Feb. 16-20, 2015). Therefore, we are requesting that you work with them to do the following:

1.      Request a meeting of your senator while s/he is home for the recess so that you can make your views clear on the importance of the ESEA and the federal role in K-12 education in our country.

2.      Be sure to put the request in writing as we want to make sure that there is a record that you reached out. You can use the sample written request that is accessible here.

3.      Work with the National Urban League Washington Bureau (NULWB) to determine an appropriate media strategy around the request. You can use the sample press release to announce that you’re having a meeting, downloadable here. And, after the meeting, they can work with you to put out a press release about what happened – another sample release can be used for this – you’ll find it here.

We’ve attached a few more helpful items to make this as easy as possible: talking points, and other tools that we think you may find useful, including: a tip sheet on how to amplify activities for the media, which you can find here, and a tip sheet for meeting with elected officials, downloadable here. These and other resources can all be found online at (insert link).

Most importantly, the team at the National Urban League Washington Bureau is prepared to ensure you get the support you need to make sure the senator hears from you. They will help you figure out the answer to any questions you may have… so please reach out for any assistance you may require!

Please contact Susie Saavedra at or Shree Chauhan at if you are able to request a meeting with your senators during the recess. Feel free to be in touch with either of us should you need anything at all.

Yours in the movement,



Erika McConduit                                                        Henry Thomas

President and CEO,                                                    President and CEO,

Urban League of Greater                                            Urban League of Springfield

New Orleans                                                               Co-Chair, Education Taskforce

Co-Chair, Education Taskforce                                  National Urban League

National Urban League                                               

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