April 17, 2022
MnSTA Member “Action Alert”
Subject: Help Advocate for Science PD Funding - Letter Writing Campaign
Minnesota Science Teachers Association (MnSTA) needs your help. We need 5 minutes of your time and it CAN make a HUGE difference! Read on...
As you may know, part of what we do at MnSTA is advocate at the capitol for funding and resources for Minnesota science teachers, students and programs that support quality science initiatives. Advocacy with our state legislators is often a long process, with a lot of 'hurry up and wait', until all of a sudden, it is time to rally members to act in unison to effect change. NOW IS THAT TIME!
We have worked the better part of this two year legislative cycle to garner support for the creation and introduction of a bill asking for funding appropriations to pay for creation and implementation of ongoing science professional development for K-12 Minnesota science educators, based on the new science standards and pedagogy. Should we secure the funding for these professional development programs and workshops, science educators would have access to, AT LITTLE TO NO COST, targeted content and pedagogy professional development opportunities. Finally, this funding would allow MnSTA to offer these professional development programs and workshops regionally, all over the state, and in various platforms.
We, along with our partners, have been able to work with a handful of House and Senate members to draft and introduce HF3344 and SF3425 in this session. The House bill, (HF3344) was included in the House Education Spending Bill. Unfortunately, its companion bill in the Senate, (SF3425) has not. Both the House and Senate bills must be included in their respective education spending bills, for there to be any chance of science professional development funding to be included in the Joint (House and Senate) Education Appropriations bill.
WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW! We are mounting a letter writing campaign to ask for support for the Senate bill to be included in the Senate Education Spending bill. The chair of the Senate Education Finance and Policy Committee, Senator Roger Chamberlain, is currently unwilling to hear the bill, or add it to the spending bill. By sending letters of support to your Senators, we may be able to create enough pressure to prompt a change, and get SF3425 heard and added to the Senate Education Spending bill.
Here is what we need you to do:
- Go to Who Represents Me? Link: https://www.gis.lcc.mn.gov/iMaps/districts/ and find out who your State Senator is.
- Edit the attached sample letter, and email it to your State Senator (there should be a link for their email when you search for them using the website above). Make sure to EDIT it: There are TWO places to include their name, (one at the beginning and one toward the end), as well as a place to add your name, HOME address, school/district, etc. Please feel free to add/edit the sample letter to personalize it, but you certainly do not have to do that. Use, ‘Please Advocate for Science Professional Development (SF3425) in Education Finance Spending Bill’ as your subject title.
- Please send your letter via email by Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
Want to do ONE more thing?
Send a thank you email (see the attached sample letter) to the House Education Finance Committee and COPY your REPRESENTATIVE on it. Make sure to EDIT it to include your name and contact information. You can see who that is when you use the Who Represents Me? site to find your State Representative. Here are the email addresses of the House Education Finance Committee:
Thank you so much for taking the time to help MnSTA advocate for science education! Your help MATTERS and we will keep you posted. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions.
MnSTA Advocacy Committee Chair
MnSTA Earth and Space Science Discipline Director
Here is a sample letter to your Senator