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October 2014 
Vol. 44 No. 9 
Please enjoy this article written by Lesley Romanoff, our PCPI President, regarding the benefits of membership with regards to advocacy in early child education. 
Cooperatively Speaking
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A few weeks ago, Alan Knapp the Vice President of Advocacy with NCBA Clusa (www.ncba.coop) arranged a meeting for PCPI with Steven Hicks of the U.S. Department of Education in Washington DC. While legislation from State to State may or may not include the parent cooperative model, federal legislation does not. With universal prek and other national early childhood education initiatives taking shape, it is important to have cooperatives recognized and named in the legislation.

We know that schools that operate in States or in the District of Columbia that do not include the model in regulations, struggle to have their practice recognized by their local child care administrations. As the federal legislation moves forward without the mention of the cooperative model, it will make it even more difficult for our member schools to operate or to apply for funding.

We met with Steven Hicks and introduced him to the longstanding tradition of parent cooperatives. Attending were Leta Mach and myself. Mr. Hicks was introduced to the parent cooperative experience quite effectively by a parent from Takoma Park Cooperative Nursery School in Maryland. He may have started his day not knowing what a cooperative model school was, but he certainly ended his day knowing exactly what one is.  

We hope to increase our visits with policy makers, touring schools around the United States, and most importantly increasing our membership.  I call these efforts "just add a comma" campaign. It seems so simple, doesn't it? When schools and models are listed, you will find Montessori, Reggio-inspired, home daycare, large family daycare, play-based, but parent cooperative model schools are not there. All we need is just a comma, followed by "Parent Cooperative Model" schools.

The comma is such a small thing it would seem, but one thing that I have learned throughout this process is that REPRESENTATION is the larger part of the story. We need to increase our membership in states like Wisconsin where the cooperative business model is held in strong regard AND whose Congressional delegation serve on the Education Committee.

Something seemingly small, like adding a comma in a sentence, is supported by large numbers of member schools across the country. We need to increase our membership across the map of the United States and Canada.

Together, we are stronger. Please consider renewing your membership to ensure that these lobbying efforts are successful. Once you have joined, consider contacting another cooperative school in your area to join as well. Help us make sure that comma lands and that cooperative schools do not get passed over.

Visit our site to start your renewal process now!


Don't forget to pay your annual PCPI dues in December to stay connected...Stay Tuned for November / December Newsletter:  How Do You Observe the Holidays?
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