So many educators were fired up by Amy O’Leary’s presentation at our Collaborative meeting and the Workforce Summit. She has shared this information to support educators who are interested in public testimony as their form of advocacy.
A Guide to Giving Public Testimony at the EEC Board Meeting
Who, What, Where and When
As you prepare, you want to do some research about who is on the Board, what is on the meeting agenda and where and when the Board meeting is going to be held.
When you arrive at the meeting, there will be a sign-in sheet for anyone who wants to offer testimony. Be sure to sign up. If you don’t see the list, ask someone for help!
· Click here to see when and where the Board Meetings are held and information about the agenda. You need to check back as they update this information closer to the board meetings. As an example, click here to see the information that was posted for the December 2018 Meeting.
As stated on December agenda ‘The Board of Early Education and Care makes up to 30 minutes available for persons in the audience to address the Board on specific agenda items. In order to hear as many speakers as possible, the Board limits individuals to 3 minutes, although written material of any length can be submitted. The Board asks associations or groups to select only one speaker to represent the organization. Those wishing to speak should indicate their intent by filling out the sign-in sheet that will be available during the half-hour prior to the start of the meeting.”
If you are preparing oral testimony, be sure to PRACTICE and make sure it is not longer than 3 minutes. You will find sample testimony below.
Some things to keep in mind as you write your testimony:
· Include your first and last name!
· Include BRIEF information about where you work, how long you have been in the field, what roles you have had that has helped inform your perspective.
· Clearly state WHAT you are going to talk about in your testimony.
· Provide accurate information, personal stories and reflections and “an ask” (if you have one.)
· Thank the members of the Board for the opportunity.
· YOU ARE A SMART POWERFUL LEADER FOR CHILDREN.
· No one is born knowing how to do this! We all have to learn and practice.
· It pays to prepare – don’t wing it!
· You are the content expert. Be a reliable source.
· You don’t have to cover every single thing – be clear on the 3 most important points to cover.
· Break down the research – one pagers and key findings.
· Local data is key, makes the issue relevant for elected officials.
· Don’t be intimidated by the process – YOU CAN DO IT.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Amy O’Leary
at email@example.com or 617-330-7384.
Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Statements from the Public
Titus DosRemedios, director of research and policy, Strategies for Children
Good afternoon, Board Chair Lesaux, Secretary Peyser and Commissioner Weber and members of the Board. Thank you for this opportunity.
My name is Titus DosRemedios and I am the director of research and policy at Strategies for Children.
Heading into another school year, we are encouraged by the recent progress and momentum for high-quality early education and care.
- The federal budget passed last spring doubled funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant— an increase that allows states to serve 230,000 more children, including several thousand more here in Massachusetts. We are eager to see the state’s plan for allocating these new child care funds.
- A new federal grant – the Birth to 5 Preschool Development Grant – is an opportunity for statewide planning, needs assessments, and collaboration with our public health partners. We hope Massachusetts will apply by the November 6 due date.
- The state budget in FY19 is the best in 10 years for early education, and the first to surpass the pre-recession high point (FY09) of state funding for this agency. The state budget includes:
o A workforce rate increase of $20 million. This is the fifth consecutive year that the Legislature has funded rates, allowing subsidized programs to give their teachers a well-deserved raise.
o Also, $10 million for a new workforce development initiative, aligned with EEC’s ongoing professional development plans, engaging local community colleges, and establishing a new Early Education Workforce Council.
Strategies for Children’s top priority is preschool expansion.
Since FY16, EEC has awarded preschool expansion planning grants to 18 communities that have completed customized local plans.
This year, state leaders have taken a first step toward implementation. The final FY19 budget includes $5 million for implementation grants.
Communities are excited about this funding, and busy revisiting their plans. To connect these communities to one another, Strategies for Children hosted two planning calls in August: Twenty-two individuals participated, representing most of the 18 planning communities. Key themes emerged from our discussion: questions about timing, allowable use of funds, long-term sustainability, and options for blending and braiding funding sources.
The need for more high-quality preschool is substantial. Roughly 800 4-year-olds per year are served by the federally-funded Preschool Expansion Grant (PEG). However, we estimate that close to 10,000 children in high-needs communities do not attend preschool due to cost or space factors. These children could enroll in the state’s mixed-delivery system of early education and care if new public funds became available.
We ask that EEC gets the new preschool implementation funding out as soon as possible, releasing an RFR no later than November 1st, so that communities have time to apply, receive, and successfully implement programming by the end of the fiscal year.
Finally, we look forward to working with you and the Legislature on a comprehensive, long-term preschool plan. The first step is sustaining the successful PEG program. Federal funds expire next summer, and PEG – all 48 classrooms – will end unless we take collective action to save it. The clock is ticking.