Your Voice Matters!
As teachers and parents of children in school, our lives are filled to the brim with responsibilities. It is hard to look up from our daily lives and find the time to do much more than manage work and family.
And yet, our voices are important to bring together to advocate for the wellbeing of all children. The national PTA was founded by mothers concerned about child labor in 1897 and is now a national grassroots network of millions of people working to better the lives or our children. Washington State PTA has worked for 100 years to advocate for all of Washington’s children, and even literally coined the term “preschool.”
Advocacy is central to every local unit PTAs mission. Our PTAs see the needs and work to fill them. Seattle Council PTSA’s role is to represent and support all 81 of Seattle’s PTAs, and that means helping to organize our collective voices. Thankfully, the Washington State PTA supports our efforts through trainings and website resources at tools that you can find here. And we ask that every local unit PTA in Seattle:
Have an Advocacy/Legislative chair on their board of directors.
Participate in Focus Day in Olympia
Send at least one delegate to the Legislative Assembly in the fall of each year
Get Involved. Contact your PTA president or Eden Mack at legchair@SCPTSA.org or 206-240-6648
Parent, Students and Teacher advocates can make a difference!
Bring the kids to meet with Legislators, network with other PTA advocates, leave postcards, and receive updates from policy-makers. Show our Legislators that we care that they fulfill their Paramount Duty and Amply Fund basic education.
IMPORTANT – Register by Jan 9 to pre-purchase a boxed lunch, by Jan 8th to get a WSPTA t-shirt: http://www.wastatepta.org/meetings/focus_day/PTA members are encouraged, but not required, to register to attend.Highlights of the day will include: A rally on the steps at 10:30, co-hosted by WSPTA, the Washington Education Association, NAACP, Washington’s Paramount Duty and others.
ALSO, RSVP to your PTA Legislative District Coordinators to attend meetings with Legislators:
• 11th: Dasha Narog (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• 34th: Susan Saffery, Fairmont Park PTA (email@example.com)
• 36th: Christa Winquist, Queen Anne PTA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• 37th: Emijah Smith, Dearborn Park PTA (email@example.com) and Justin Kalm, Orca K-18 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• 43rd: Nathan Hoerschelmann, Madrona PTA (email@example.com) and Alicia Goodwin, Montlake PTA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• 46th: Michael Muto, Bagely PTA (email@example.com)
The full Agenda and registration can be found here:
Learn about PTAs legislative agenda here:
Take the Bus! SCPTSA will have one bus for 45 people travelling from North and South Seattle. Sign up soon! Spots are limited: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090f4faca722a1fb6-ride/
Seattle Area PTA Advocacy to Stop Layoffs and Fully Fund Basic Education
Seattle Schools is projecting a shortfall of $74million for the 2017-18 school year. Unless the Legislature acts swiftly in the 2017 legislative session to both extend the levy cliff and fully fund staff compensation for the 2017-18 school year, our District will be going through the process of eliminating approximately 440 positions and other important budget items. The process for cuts is starting now as schools need to have initial budgets for next year in April.
The cuts don’t need to happen if the State does more to fulfill their obligation to the paramount duty for next school year by fully funding compensation by January 1, 2018, instead of waiting until September 1, 2018 as they have promised. You can help your legislators to do the right thing by contacting them about this issue.
See the “Stop Layoffs and Fully Fund Basic Education” flier for sample messaging, how to contact your Legislators and for information about WSPTA Focus Day on January 16, 2017.
Send in a postcard: Print both of these PDFs Levy Cliff Postcard art side Levy Cliff Postcard copy side (“art side” and “copy side” to be printed double sided on card stock) for 2 postcards per page. You will want 4 cards per person to sent to 3 representatives and the Governor. Fill out the “to” and “from” information, add a stamp and send it in, or hand deliver to your legislators on Focus Day!
Seattle Council PTSA 2014-15 Advocacy and Legislative Priorities:
Adopted by the SCPTSA board on September 29, 2014
Whereas the Seattle Council of Parent Teacher and Student Associations (SCPTSA) advocates for Seattle’s children’s education and wellbeing, the SCPTSA has prioritized the following 5 issues for the 2014-15 school year:
- Ample funding of K-12 basic education per the McCleary decision; with increases in revenue orchestrated in a progressive, equitable, and sustainable manner.
- School capacity planning, building maintenance, and capital funding solutions to reduce over-crowding and reliance upon portables, and provide stability, with sufficient and appropriate permanent education environments for K-12 students, both in the present and long term.
- Safe environments for all children, staff, and teachers, both at school and during school sponsored activities off school grounds, including appropriate supervision, safe walk zones, safe transportation, and reasonable school start times that support healthy sleep.
- Improved family engagement initiatives and processes that increase the authentic collaboration of parents, teachers, and students with education policy makers, Seattle Public Schools staff, and elected officials.
- Initiatives and policies that provide all children with equitable access to all facets of a quality education, while giving special attention to our most vulnerable and underserved children.
SCPTSA Votes on Legislative Bills
The SCPTSA Board voted on February 10 to endorse or oppose several bills and one set of Principles. See the full list here. Meanwhile, here are the highlights:
SUPPORTED: Washington United for Fair Revenue Principles. A grassroots campaign that would support new revenues to support K-12 public education and long-term care for seniors.
SUPPORTED: SB 5859. Supports needed updates and corrections to the School Construction Assistance formula to help fund the cost of needed new school buildings and address current overcrowding issues and growth projections.
OPPOSED: HB 1860/ HB 2048: Concerning the division of large school districts, which would split the Seattle School District into two districts. See the SCPTSA testimony at the House Education Committee on February 10.
OPPOSED via Resolution: HB 1497: Would allow the board of directors of large, first-class district’s to be appointed as opposed to elected.
The Washington State Legislature is scheduled to conclude on April 26. This is a critical year because the State has been found in contempt of court, and the legislature has been ordered to make real and measurable progress toward full funding of K-12 education by 2017.
Resolution Passed by Seattle Council Board and Membership, November 2015
Resolution Passed by Seattle Council Board and Membership, October 2013
Alignment of Sleep Requirements for Optimal Health with School Start Times