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Voters can and should impact education policy in their community, Dr. Charles Davis III, director of Higher Education Research and Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education, tells NewsOne in an exclusive interview at the Democratic National Convention.

Candidates for a range of local offices, such as school board and city council, are making the rounds to win votes. Davis says in this video that voters must educate themselves on what’s at issue in their neighborhood schools to effect positive change through the ballot box.

“There’s some level of concern about what voting on the national level can do to affect local schools, but along the same side of national elections, we have local politicians for whom we’re voting, we have school board members for whom we’re voting, we have city council and city commission folks for whom we’re voting, and that’s where actual school level policy can really be affected,” Davis said.

But given the choices in this election, Davis also understands the skepticism some parents may feel when it comes to voting for a candidate in the national election.

“When we’re thinking about the importance of voting, we have to also understand that people were given the option to participate in the democratic process,” he said. “So we have to respect people’s right to vote their conscience.”

“It’s important that we get out and think about what’s happening on a local level and think about how our individual votes can affect our local communities.”

For more from this interview, watch the video above.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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