Key into what you can do.

Are you ready to key your policymakers into the value of the arts and sciences?

Many states increased support for higher education last year, making up for many cuts during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2008 recession. Last year, 49 out of 50 states ended the  fiscal year with record surpluses. Hopefully, public higher education institutions will see some of this surplus. However, concerns about an unsteady economy and political unrest could reduce final numbers.

Your personalized emails and letters to representatives can make a big impact. Below, find sample emails that you can copy and paste to send to your governor or state legislators. If possible, boost your impact by taking a few minutes to make it more personal with these quick tips and suggestions.

Find your representatives’ contact information, voting records, and more here.

Reach Out to Newly Elected or Re-Elected State Policymakers

Dear Governor/ Representative/ Senator [Insert Last Name]:

As a constituent living in [City/Town], I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you [back (if policymaker re-elected)] to your office. I am looking forward to hearing more about your post-election priorities for our state.

I know that you will face tough fiscal decisions in the months ahead. That’s why I want you to know that I believe investments in higher education that include the arts and sciences are extremely important to the present and future of [Insert State].

A well-rounded arts and sciences education develops both inventive employees and thoughtful citizens. In fact, countries like China, India, and Singapore are integrating the arts and sciences into their higher education models to foster more innovation. Studies have also shown that liberal arts and sciences degrees increase tolerance, civic engagement, and strength of democracies. This upcoming year, I hope that you will make investments in higher education a priority.

Again, congratulations on your election and please keep me informed about your activities.

Sincerely yours,

[Name

Address, City, Zip

Phone]

Urge State Officials to Fund Public Higher Education

Dear Governor/ Representative/ Senator [Insert Last Name]:

As a constituent living in [City/Town], I am urging you to make funding for higher education a priority in the next fiscal year.

I know that you will face tough decisions in the months ahead. That’s why I want you to know that I believe investments in higher education that include the arts and sciences are extremely important to the present and future of [Insert State].

As communities of people dedicated to education, research, and service, institutions of higher education work to support their communities and states through both scientific and humanistic research. They also consistently demonstrate their ability to be nimble, responsive, and indispensable to society in the wake of health, economic, and social crises.

Research shows time and again that workers with a college education typically earn more than those without a degree Studies also show that liberal arts and sciences graduates have high levels of civic engagement and increased tolerance for diversity of thought.

In other words, a well-rounded arts and sciences education develops both inventive employees and thoughtful citizens. Excellent communications skills technologists well, and it’s helpful to understand the broader social context for products and projects. Likewise, arts and humanities students must know how to marshal data and figures effectively to enhance research, creativity, and transferability. This approach entails rigor, but also makes for a more interesting life and can pay off too. In fact, one top factor associated with six-figure salaries is taking courses outside a major.

I firmly believe that we need to ensure that more of our state’s young people can access a quality higher education that prepares them for all of life. Again, I urge you to work with your colleagues to make funding for higher education that includes the arts and sciences a priority.

Please keep me informed about your efforts.

Sincerely yours,

[Name

Address, City, Zip

Phone]

Acknowledge Funding Increases for Higher Education in Your State

Dear Governor/ Representative/ Senator [Insert Last Name]:

As a constituent living in [City/Town], thank you for making funding for higher education a priority in the state budget last year.

I know that in the last year you faced many tough decisions, and your prioritization of higher education did not go unnoticed. Institutions of higher education, as communities of people dedicated to education, research, and service, have historically supported communities and [Insert State] through both scientific and humanistic research. They have also consistently demonstrated their ability to be nimble, responsive, and indispensable to society in the wake of significant crises.

Research has shown time and again that workers with a college education typically earn more than those without a degree. With a college education, students establish an educational foundation that enables them to grow and to innovate both in their careers and in their communities.

I firmly believe that we need to ensure that more of our state’s young people can access a quality higher education that prepares them for all of life. Again, thank you for making funding for higher education a priority this past year and in the future.

Please keep me informed about your efforts.

Sincerely yours,

[Name

Address, City, Zip

Phone]

Respond Productively When Your Official Publicly Disparages the Arts and Sciences

Dear Governor/ Senator/ Representative [Insert Last Name]:

As a constituent living in [Insert City/Town], I saw your recent comments about the arts and sciences in [insert local source]. I want to take this opportunity to convey why I strongly support access to a well-rounded arts and sciences education for today’s students.

The arts and sciences prepare students for a lifetime of success by developing inventive employees and thoughtful citizens. Students majoring in the arts and sciences see bigger increases in the types of skills employers want when hiring: critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills. 

Research has shown time and again that workers with a college education typically earn more than those without a degree. With a college education, students establish an educational foundation that enables them to grow and to innovate both in their careers and in their communities.

As a state, we do need to provide vocational training and opportunities. But practical skills and technological advancements will not solve our state’s most pressing problems alone. We need a strong base of human understanding to drive innovation and our economic growth. In short, we need to ensure access to quality arts and science education for students as well. 

I hope you will reconsider your position and please keep me informed about your efforts.

Sincerely yours,

[Insert Name

Address, City, Zip

Phone]

Tips and Suggestions to Make Your Call More Personal

  • Keep your message as short, simple, and specific as possible. If you can, reference pending legislation in your state or specific budget line items.
  • Tell a brief personal anecdote when possible to tie your message back home for your legislator.
  • Ask for a response by indicating you would appreciate a reply on the issue.
  • Follow up when appropriate by thanking your legislator when you agree with their votes or informing them when you disagree.

You are key to this movement.

There are quick and simple ways to help.