Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gubernatorial candidates discuss education plans

Speeches posted on TVW
Both candidates for governor recently shared their visions for education at forums hosted by Excellent Schools Now, a statewide coalition of education advocacy groups, and Our Schools Now, a similar Seattle-based coalition. TVW taped the forums and has posted them on their website. The speeches are similar to those shared with members at the Washington State PTA convention.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Charter public schools initiative under review

Proponents of charter public schools have filed an initiative bid with the Secretary of State, and Washington State PTA members may ask whether the association supports the effort. (See 11th hour filing)

Nationally, PTA has qualified support for charter public schools. And Washington State PTA is actively looking for ways to close our state's entrenched achievement gaps. We are supportive of choice and innovative schools – including charter public schools when they reflect the positions and principles of PTA.

At this point, staff is reviewing the initiative to see if it aligns with WSPTA criteria. The charter proponents who filed the initiative have told us it improves upon on a bill introduced to the legislature this past session. We had concerns with that bill and could not fully support it.  (Key points noted below. See also, Grassroots Connection: Feedback on SB 6202)

Monday, June 4, 2012

2012 PTA Votes Election Guide Now Available

 The 2012 PTA Votes Election Guide is available online at the PTA Votes webpage.  The printable guide gives tips to PTAs ranging from voter registration drives, questions for candidates, ballot initiatives, and the “cans” and “cannots” for PTAs around election time. 

The PTA Votes website also provides an interactive tool that allows members to register to vote and identify local elections by entering an address.   

$70M for "community transformation" available

Goal: Healthy, safe communities
Non-government organizations -- including neighborhood groups -- welcome to apply.
On May 29, 2012 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced available funding of $70 million aimed at improving the health of small communities across the nation. The Community Transformation Grant program is a comprehensive prevention and wellness initiative launched in 2011 by Health and Human Services and administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Grants will be awarded to governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations across a variety of sectors, including education. The targeted communities can be specific counties, cities, towns and villages with populations up to 500,000 or neighborhoods, sections, or subgroups of the population (e.g., children or seniors) within a metropolitan area.