ISSUE: Faced with a large budget deficit, Governor Lincoln Chafee proposed eliminating funding for the textbook loan program, which provides reimbursement to private school parents for the high cost of textbooks. The Catholic Schools of Rhode Island consider the program an essential tool for keeping the cost of a quality Catholic school education affordable for local families. Additional cuts were also proposed to transportation assistance for private school students.
CAMPAIGN: To educate and mobilize the Rhode Island Catholic schools community to oppose the proposed cuts, Advocacy Solutions:
- Hosted a series of parent advocacy workshops at Catholic schools around the state. Parents and other supporters were briefed on the issue and given advocacy training on how to contact their legislators in opposition to the cuts.
- Launched and managed an electronic advocacy action center which generated more than 2,500 emails to targeted legislators.
- Recruited over 1,600 Catholic school supporters to sign petitions opposing cuts to the textbook loan program.
- Authored and placed letters to the editor in local papers in opposition to the cuts.
RESULT: Funding for the textbook loan program was fully restored and no cuts were made to student transportation assistance.