Tuition can be a burden to families with children in private schools. It is also frequently the deciding factor for many parents when they consider sending their children to high-quality, Christian schools like ours. We want to make it easier for families to choose the Christ-centered, nurturing environment of CLCS.
It’s almost time for our legislators in Albany to vote on a budget. They are considering a program to help families pay for tuition at Christian elementary and secondary schools. While there is considerable support for the initiative, there are those who strongly oppose offering any support to our tuition-paying families. Please take a moment to urge Governor Cuomo and our legislators to help families pay for Christian school tuition by including Education Tax Credits or a similar program in the enacted state budget. Time is of the essence. Click the link below to connect to the Association of Christian Schools International, Legislative Action Center. From there you can send a message directly to our state representatives in Albany.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin
CLCS Principal, Pam Bateman, recently traveled to Albany to be part of a group of concerned citizens asking legislators to consider supporting a bill to help families send their children to Christian schools. Here she describes her experience:
ACSINY Advocacy Day 2017
Pam Bateman – Principal, Covenant Love Community School
Advocacy Day at the Capitol sounded like a great idea when it was presented at the RISE conference in October. I agreed to attend, expecting to hide in the back of a group and let others do the talking. Then, in mid-February, I was faced with the reality of contacting legislators myself. Nothing in me wanted to pick up the phone and make the needed appointments, even though I’d been given detailed instructions. I actually considered cancelling the trip, but ongoing encouragement from my “coach,” Merle Skinner, and other team members enabled me to overcome my strong reluctance. I finally made the calls and discovered that setting up meetings was surprisingly easy to do.
At the orientation dinner, we were carefully briefed for our Tuesday meetings. We were given background information and specific talking points. However, we learned that our success would best be defined by just showing up, not by the particular outcome of a meeting. I no longer saw myself as voiceless and insignificant. I left feeling affirmed, prepared, and empowered to be a mouthpiece for our parents, our schools, and our God.
Our first meeting was with a legislative staff member and I surprised myself by speaking up during the conversation. It wasn’t so hard after all! Walking through the buildings, I was amazed at the number of interest groups filling the halls. How complacent I’d been over the years, allowing others to do the legwork advocating for our Christian and non-public schools.
After lunch, I led our meeting with my local legislator, who opposed the Tax Credit Bill. I was nervous at the outset, but our supportive group bolstered my confidence. When I entered my second appointment at the end of the day, I was almost relaxed. My familiarity with the process had grown exponentially in a matter of hours and this final meeting was an upbeat conclusion to a most memorable day at the Capitol!
My take-away from Albany? Our lawmakers and their staffs are “real people” just like me. I can find common ground with them and communicate clearly about issues of importance. After being trained by the best for these face-to-face encounters, ongoing contact with my legislators is no longer scary. Advocacy Day 2018 is already on my calendar. I hope you’ll be there, too!