A Model For Influence On Educational Policy-Making In The Florida State Legislature

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Educat.D.)


Educational Leadership


The 1970's brought a dramatic expansion of legislative power in the policy domain of education. Because of rising costs of education, general dissatisfaction with the quality of education and, most recently, the shift to a less active federal role and a more active state role in educational policymaking and funding, there is an increasing need for research on educator influence upon politics at the state level.This project was designed to compile and analyze the perceptions of legislators and legislative lobbyists on desirable techniques that can be developed by educators in seeking to influence the quality of education in the state of Florida. Legislators and lobbyists were asked to rank the importance of eight identified techniques/factors, as well as rate the effectiveness of their use by educational lobbyists in the Florida State Legislature.One survey form was administered to legislators and a slightly modified form was administered to educational lobbyists identified in the questionnaire. In addition, interviews were held with selected legislators and lobbyists based on their identification by a panel of experts from the Florida political and academic realm.The primary purpose of this project was to identify the lobbying techniques/factors that can be most effectively used on the Florida legislature by educators and then produce a handbook for educators emphasizing these factors, as well as other information needed by educators in effectively lobbying the Florida legislature.Findings of the project indicate that all of the identified techniques/factors are critical to educational lobbying, but that some seem to be considerably more important than others. The techniques/factors were ranked according to the results of the study as follows: (1) Knowledge of legislative process; (2) Credibility unquestioned; (3) Interaction with legislator and staff; (4) Information purveyor; (5) Coordinate a comprehensive lobbying effort; (6) Knowledge of individual legislators; (7) Monitor the "other" house (of the legislature); (8) Expect commitment prior to a vote.Florida's educational lobbyists were moderately effective in their use of several techniques/factors: knowledge and use of the legislative process, knowledge of individual legislators and credibility unquestioned. They were very ineffective in their use of the following techniques/factors: interaction with individual legislator and staff, information purveyor, coordination of a comprehensive lobbying effort, and monitoring of the "other" house (of the legislature). (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)


Education, Administration

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