Suggestions for Writing Letters to Decision-Makers
Leaders pay attention to their constituents. Letting decision-makers know what you think and want for your child is important. Thanking decision-makers who support programs you want is even more important.
It is necessary to be brief and clear in your message. Include your return address and any other useful contact information you are willing to share.
Decision-makers are school and school district leaders, school board members, and elected officials on all levels. Parent organizations are often active in supporting arts education and certainly have influence with school officials.
Below are some suggested letters to various education decision-makers. You are welcome to use these letters as they are but the more you personalize it, the more seriously it will be taken. Personal touches include any history you may have with the leader and your own thoughts and observations about arts education. Specific references to your school, school district, or legislative district and how arts education would affect you and other constituents also help make your point.
Short letters are more likely to be read than long ones, and handwritten letters send the message that you take the issue seriously. Only hand write, however, if you can do so neatly. If you sign the letter, be sure that your name is printed as well.
Use personal or business letterhead, whichever best relates to your interest in arts education and your relationship with the person you're writing to.
Most of the statements in parentheses ( ) are notes to you, the writer of the letter and should be taken out of the final copy of the letter. References to the report Champions of Change and helpful websites, however, can be left in the letters to validate your points.
You can also write or call allies such as a school district arts coordinator if you have one, and local and state arts and arts education organizations to let them know of your interest and support. They may have specific ideas how you can help in your community.
Sample letters are written to:
- School District Superintendent
- School Board Member
- Letter to the Editor
- City Council Member
- Executive Director, Local Arts Agency
- State Representative
- State Superintendent of Education
- Executive Director, State Arts Agency
- Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
- U.S. Secretary of Education
- Your U.S. Representative
- Your U.S. Senator
- President of the United States