Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Delegates to vote on advocacy, bylaw changes

  • Arts education - updates language, scope
  • Sleep requirements aligned to school start times - new
  • Subsidizing staff salaries - revised proposal; first considered last year
  • Equitable education opportunities (contains references to innovation and charter schools) - new
  • List of current resolutions
Several resolutions and bylaw amendments will be considered at the Washington State PTA Convention May 4-6. Resolutions are longterm advocacy positions. Bylaws are the rules that govern the association.

All PTAs/PTSAs need to review these proposals. Be sure to familiarize yourselves with them and discuss them with your voting delegates so they know how to represent your PTA.

You can access the voters guide here. It includes resolution langauge, but not the supporting documents. You can access the full resolution proposals, including supporting documents, at the links below.

Arts Education in Public Schools and Washington State 5.3 - proposal to amend
Alignment of Sleep Requirements for Optimum Health with School Start Times
Subsidizing Certificated and Classified Staff Salaries
Equitable Educational Opportunities (Note: Covers issues of school choice, including charter schools; strategies to support accelerated learning; and funding support for higher need students)

The bylaw amendments are listed in the voters guide.

A packet has been sent to each local unit containing both a convention guide and a voters guide. Voting information -- including information on registration and credential exchange -- is included in the voters guide.

Washington State PTA's advocacy is guided by both long-term vision and short-term priorities. Resolutions are long-term. You can review WSPTA's short-term and long-term positions, as well National PTA positions here.

- Ramona Hattendorf

1 comment:

  1. Resolved, Washington State PTA will promote expansion of choice by supporting innovative schools
    "-- including non-profit charter schools -- where they are supported by the local community and
    when they reflect the positions and principles of National and Washington State PTA, and when
    they adhere to and comply with applicable laws and guidelines set forth for other public elementary and secondary educational institutions."

    What this should say if you really believe charters will help low-income students AND you want to protect taxpayers, it should sa:

    including non-profit charter schools that are operated and managed by non-profit organizations..." Because the current legislation opens the door to for-profit companies to come in and run schools. Schools should not be for sale.

    "...where they are supported by the local community.."

    This is a problem as well because the current legislation would allow a trigger where 51% of teachers OR parents who sign a petition could have an approved charter proposal enacted at a school. The charter doesn't have to announce there is a petition circulating.

    How does this involved an entire school community - parents, teachers, staff and neighbors - if only 51% of one group can flip a school?

    Words matter and the WA State PTSA needs to be very specific in the words they use.