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Education task force gears up for action.

The NLC Task Force on Cities' Roles in Education met last week to implement its Board-approved recommendations and to reorganize under the leadership of newly appointed chair, Councilmember Tim Owens of Overland Park, Kan.

"This meeting marks the transition from a planning and research mode to a doer mode," declared Owens.

NLC First Vice-President Don Fraser noted that "There is a new level of heightened NLC commitment and NLC members are ready to learn." "Children are on the front burner," added Councillor Alice Wolf of Cambridge, Mass.

Primary attention was devoted to the content for a proposed primer on cities' roles in education. "Broad based coalition building and collaborative efforts should be fundamental" parts of the publication, remarked Mayor Karen Humphrey of Fresno, Calif. The focus should be "ongoing relationships with the schools, not just crisis relationships," added Youngstown Councilmember Lock Beachum.

The proposed primer will be written through NLC's Project on Children and Families in Cities with advice from a Task Force subcommittee chaired by Councilmember Linda Horowitz of Vancouver, Wash. To reinforce the primer's message and information, the Task Force proposes to implement a full scale campaign to involve local government in education.

Under the leadership of Mayor Mary Ann McCollum of Columbia, Mo., a new initiatives subcommittee will plan the campaign. A key feature of the campaign will be a speakers' bureau so that Task Force members can meet with city council members and civic leaders across the country to facilitate action in their respective communities.

In addition, the campaign plans to prepare supplementary material such as video presentations, bumper stickers, balloons, and public service announcements.

However, new initiatives are not the only ways Task Force members will add to NLC's repertoire of action on behalf of education. Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke is chairing a subcommittee which will prepare written materials for NLC's weekly newspaper and for the publications of various state leagues.

A conference subcommittee will provide suggestions to the NLC Conference Advisory Committee about how the 1992 Congress of Cities meeting in New Orleans can be most effective in bringing education ideas to ose attending. The subcommittee, under the chairmanship of Councilmember Neil Harrison of Davenport, Iowa, also will explore the possibilities of a new NLC conference focused specifically on community involvement in education.

The fifth subcommittee, chaired by Councilmember Katie Nack of Pasadena, Calif., will take the Task Force's concerns about policy and legislative issues to the Human Development Policy Committee. NLC President Glenda Hood has appointed Nack as the first ever liaison between the Task Force and Human Development. This dual leadership role will create many opportunities for the development of new NLC policy on education issues.

The Task Force's next meeting will be June 5-7 in Overland Park, Kansas.

Input from local officials is welcome for any of the subcommittees. Ideas and materials can be submitted to the Task Force on Cities' Roles in Education, c/o John E. Kyle, Task Force Staff, National League of Cities, 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004.
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Author:Kyle, John E.
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Mar 16, 1992
Previous Article:Advisory Council plans agenda for coming months.
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