Legislative Representatives

Each legislative representative, representing their school district and community, has the unique opportunity to shape advocacy efforts at the local, state, and federal levels. As a leader on their board, they can provide other members with essential and timely communications to inform future laws and state budgets. Legislative representatives serve as a voice for their board by representing their district’s priorities, needs, and values. This starts with the relationships they have with fellow board members, school district staff, community members, local organizations, and other elected officials.

Becoming a legislative representative

Each school board is encouraged to identify a member who will serve as the point of contact for legislative updates and advocacy efforts. This individual may be appointed or elected and is deemed the legislative representative, otherwise known as the “leg rep.” The method of selecting the leg rep should be identified in each board’s policy.

Length of service

Each school board can designate the length of time for a member to serve as a legislative representative. It is suggested that a member serve no less than two years in order to grow within the role.

Time commitment

The amount of time needed to effectively serve as a legislative representative is variable depending on the expectations of the board and the interest of the representative. Based on discussions with current legislative representatives, the estimated time is 0 to 20 hours/month.

Responsibilities

As outlined in WSSDA’s Operating Policy 2084, the suggested responsibilities of a legislative representative are to:

  • Review WSSDA legislative proposals with their board prior to the annual General Assembly. NOTE: It may be appropriate to schedule a special meeting for reviewing proposals to allow sufficient time for discussion of the issues.
  • Provide legislative updates periodically at their board meetings
  • Share information from WSSDA publications.
  • Coordinate their board’s efforts to propose new legislative positions or amendments to existing positions.
    • Support those proposals at the assembly when appropriate.
  • Represent their board at state legislative meetings (e.g., the General Assembly, the Olympia Legislative Conference, and any area or regional workshops).
  • Contact legislators at appropriate times when legislative issues require it.
  • Monitor legislative developments at both the state and federal levels.

Additionally, leg reps are encouraged to engage in each stage of the advocacy cycle.

Interested?

Webinar Series

Explore the role of school board legislative representatives monthly at noon.

  • Aug. 4 – Legislative Representative Introduction
    recording | slides
  • Sept. 1 – Preparing for General Assembly
    recording | slides
  • Oct. 13, 2020
  • Nov. 10, 2020
  • Dec. 8, 2020

How to take action:

With your school board & WSSDA
  • Prioritize legislative positions
  • Represent your board at General Assembly
  • Propose new positions or amendments
At the state level
  • Get involved in the Legislative Session
  • Write and deliver testimony
  • Build relationships with legislators
Federally

Related Webpages