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Port Washington School District Board of Education trustee Larry Greenstein with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at the National School Boards Association (NSBA) 2015 Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C.
Port Washington School District Board of Education trustee Larry Greenstein with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at the National School Boards Association (NSBA) 2015 Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C.

Larry Greenstein, a trustee of the Port Washington School District board of education, joined more than 700 school board and state school boards association leaders in Washington, D.C., to advocate for strong public schools for all students.

Greenstein participated in the National School Boards Association (NSBA) 2015 Advocacy Institute. The institute centered on informing and building year-round advocates for public education and local school governance in public, legal and legislative arenas.

Presenting on legislative priorities at the institute were key members of Congress, Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), of the House Education and the Workforce Committee; and John B. King, Jr., senior advisor delegated duties of deputy secretary, U.S. Department of Education.

As a member of the New York State and Nassau County delegation, Greenstein also had the chance to meet with Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as Rep. Kathleen Rice and the education aide to Rep. Steve Israel, whose plane was delayed due to poor weather and couldn’t attend.

“The National School Boards Association 2015 Advocacy Institute is an important venue to bring home the collective voices of locally elected public officials regarding federal and national issues, as well as those issues that are unique to our region,” said Greenstein.

With the 114th Congress in full swing, the institute came at a pivotal time for school board members to hone their advocacy skills and use them on Capitol Hill to influence the outcome of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA), and affect legislation to ensure maximum local flexibility and decision-making for districts.

“We must ensure that all local school districts have greater flexibility and authority to make educationally sound decisions,” said Greenstein. “In addition, we need to make sure that Congress adequately funds public education to help support local innovation for greater student achievement, and that we do not receive any more unfunded or underfunded mandates.”

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Karen Talley is the former editor of Port Washington News.

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