Groups train residents how to lobby

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Two organizations opposed to cuts in public education taught Kalamazoo area residents Saturday how to lobby legislators and talk to politicians about protecting school funding, The Kalamazoo Gazette reported.

The Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy and Action in the Community and the Great Start Collaborative of Kalamazoo County encouraged a crowd of about 100 people to contact their state legislators to protest school cuts, The Gazette reported.

Those attending practiced by doing role plays, and were encouraged to contact legislators personally because e-mails are sometimes not seen or are ignored, according to The Gazette.

Superintendent Ron Fuller of the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency said that school districts may see up to a $268 per-pupil reduction in 2010-2011, according to The Gazette.

Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Michael Rice told The Gazette that the district advocates stable school funding, which could involve reforming the current tax structure, among other things.

The Kalamazoo Gazette, "Kalamazoo's Action for Education Summit trains people to push for school funding," April 24, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Evaluations of Early Education," March 8, 2010