Man testifying at state legislature
Policy Advocacy

Policy Advocacy

Action Alert: Your voice needed for rural schools

Every property owner knows Nebraska relies too heavily on property taxes to fund our public schools.

Nebraska ranks 49th in the nation for state support of education. According to the Omaha World-Herald, for every dollar supporting public K-12 schools, the State of Nebraska pays 36 cents. That’s well below the national average of 51 cents.

State lawmakers are close to handing over $25 million of your tax dollars to private school donors every year as part of Legislative Bill 753

The bill would create a new income tax credit for any individual or corporation that donates to a private school scholarship fund. For rural property owners, this is a slap in the face. According to former state Sen. Curt Friesen, only about 10% of all Nebraska students attending private schools live in rural areas. That is just about 3% of all rural students statewide.

The bill has been advanced to final reading. The vote is expected to be close and it’s important for lawmakers to hear from their constituents on this issue. Will you contact your state senator and ask them to vote against advancement? 

State and national policy directly impact how we live. We always need advocates to speak up for rural America.

We work on a variety of issues, from rural development, to clean energy, to conservation and climate. When we work with supporters, we use the same general tools to advocate across our issues. This page outlines some general resources about tools and tactics we have found to be effective.

Are you willing to take action today? There are three ways you can help right now.

  • Make your voice heardCall, email, or write your elected officials. Keep their contact information handy. Legislation can move fast; be ready at a moment’s notice.
  • Step up and take actionWrite a letter to the editor. Speak out in your community. Attend a listening session. Testify at the state capitol. Tell us how you’re ready to step up to build a stronger, brighter rural future.
  • Pitch in to support the effortYour donation today helps ensure we have the resources to share your values with representatives in Lincoln and Des Moines, or maybe at your statehouse.  

Don’t forget to display confidence, enthusiasm, credibility, and commitment. One way to display credibility is telling your representative where you live, so they know you are a constituent in their district.

Sign up for our newsletter and email alerts—We’ll keep you in the loop with action alerts, and steps you can take to advocate for timely policy. If you live in Nebraska, Iowa, or South Dakota, we’ll also send you biweekly legislative updates from our staff working at your state capitol during session. 

How will these actions create change? The people you are reaching out to are lawmakers who need your vote to become elected or stay in office. As your representatives, their job is to shape policy on behalf of your interests.

If you would like to be involved in any of these activities: make phone calls, host meetings, meet with elected officials, write letters, or testify on important legislation, please contact us at

Your advocacy ensures your voice is heard on issues that matter most to you. Remember to always show respect to legislators and their staff members, regardless of where they stand on the issue.

For more information on how to be an advocate: