Updated on 1.12.20
Schools for Climate Action Outreach Email to School Board Members and Superintendents:
Email Addresses: For most districts, you can find board member and Superintendent email addresses on the district website. Most district websites have a separate “Board of Education” webpage. If you cannot find school board member emails online, send the email to the Superintendent and the Superintendent’s administrative assistant, but also address it to “Trustees”.
Please email your State Board of Education and State Superintendent of Schools as well as the CEO or ED and President of your State School Boards Association at the same time as you email your local boards and superintendents. So far 2 state associations of school boards---Colorado and Massachusetts---have passed assertive climate action resolutions. All 50 could. Most have never been asked to speak up. Your email could be the one that triggers a resolution!
Copy and edit email below:
"Dear Superintendent and Trustees:
Thanks so much for your service on the ___________ school board. I believe strong public schools are vital to our democracy and the success of young people, so I appreciate your work and leadership. I am a _______________________________ (state your connection to the district. For example “parent of a third grade student at XYZ Elementary School” or “grandparent of a recent graduate from XYZ high school in your district” or “9th grade student at XYZ high school” or “resident and taxpayer in the XYZ school district).
Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our current and future students. I was thrilled to learn about the Schools for Climate Action campaign which is a non-partisan, grassroots, youth-adult campaign to empower schools to speak up for climate action to protect current and future students. Please pass a non-partisan climate action resolution for our district.
More than 113 education sector organizations (including at least 69 school boards) in California, Colorado, New York, Virginia, Ohio, New Mexico, Oregon, North Carolina, Washington, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, Arizona, and DC have recently passed strong non-partisan climate change resolutions. The Colorado Association of School Boards just passed this resolution in October, 2019 and the Massachusetts Association of School Committees passed this resolution in November, 2019. The National Black Council of School Board Members passed this climate action resolution in February, 2019 and the National Hispanic Council of School Board Members passed the same resolution in August, 2019. The California Association of School Psychologists passed this resolution in March. In September, the National Association of School Nurses passed this strong position statement. Student councils and student leaders are also speaking up: 29 student councils in 6 states have passed climate action resolutions. The California Association of Student Councils, representing all 6.3 million California students passed this climate action resolution in July, 2019. Local PTA chapters, teachers’ unions, and community college boards are also starting to pass climate action resolutions.
Here are some links to other passed resolutions:
Washoe County Public Schools, NV (66th largest district in the nation)
Fairfax County Public Schools, VA (10th largest district in the nation)
In June of 2019, more than 70 state and national public health and medical organizations issued a joint call to action, calling climate change a health emergency with terrible equity impacts. The education sector can also join together to speak with one voice to break the logjam on common-sense climate policy in DC. Doing so will help protect current students and future generations from climate harm. Would you please consider passing a climate action resolution for our district?
Thanks again for your time and energy making great schools for kids in our community. I look forward to hearing back from you. I have cc’ed the Schools for Climate Action campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org.
+There have been 10 school boards that have passed climate action resolutions simply on the basis of just 1 or 2 emails from a stakeholder to the Superintendent or School Board president. Other local advocacy efforts have taken longer, but starting with an email is a quick, easy, and effective first step.
+You can modify this email to make it appropriate for local, county, and state school board members.
+Please cc a handful of your friends and other school stakeholders in your community.
+If you do not hear back from your Superintendent or school board trustees, a 2nd step is to make a brief, positive statement during Open Comment period at the next school board meeting. Here are Tips and Scripts for School Board Meetings. Now that we have so many precedents and that there is so much awareness of generational climate injustice (thanks to the school strikers and, sadly, increasing harm from climate-related disasters) a statement at Open Comment with a follow-up email will likely get a response from the Superintendent or a Board Member.
THANK YOU! There are 75,000 education sector organizations in the US. All but about 200 are silent about federal climate neglect. Together, we could generate a massive signal that would help move Congress to act.
We will be delivering climate action resolutions to all 538 Congressional offices in June 2020. If you would like to join us, please sign up for our e-newsletter for updates and planning calls.