Contacting your Senators to recommend changes to NCLB

Contacting your Senators to recommend changes to NCLB:

You can reach your members of Congress or the Committees by fax, phone, email or regular mail.

A fax is the best way to contact Senators, if you can, since it arrives immediately and you can provide a bit of detail (but keep it to a page, two at most). You can fax the Democrat majority of the HELP committee directly at 202-224-5128, and you can fax the Republicans at 202-224-6510.

You can use the map at this link to locate contact information for your Senators: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

A call is also great, but be brief, just a few headlines. We suggest you follow up a call with an email.

An email, like a fax, is a good way to provide more details as to what they should do.

If you call, here are five suggested talking points, which you can deliver in 2-3 minutes.

If you fax or email, we suggest you open with a paragraph explaining an immediate concern you have with the law. Click here for some short examples to help you write your own. You can click here to find FairTest’s list of key changes to adopt to NCLB that the Senate could possibly make (we do not include important things, such as cutting back tests or greatly increasing funding for low-income schools, because they are not now on the table). You can cut and paste any of the ones you want to use. Note that a version of this is in the Answer Sheet for October 7 that includes links to back up material; the Answer Sheet blog is at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/what-should--and-shouldnt--be-in-senate-nclb-bill/2011/10/06/gIQA1nRYRL_blog.html#pagebreak. Feel free to include that link in your letter. And of course you may have other important points you want to make to the Senator.

If you fax or email your Senator, we suggest you also send a copy to the Committee using the fax. The Committee does not have an email address on its website.

It is not a good idea to send regular mail. This is a timely matter and regular mail is often held up for weeks before it is delivered.