Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Governor Press Release - Inslee proposes boldest new efforts in improving full continuum of education in 2 decades

Gov. Jay Inslee declared tonight that education must be the top priority for the 2015 Legislature, saying it’s past time for the state to meet its moral and constitutional obligations to Washington students. The governor said his plan would strengthen the school system from preschool to higher education so Washington students can attain diplomas, degrees and job training.

The governor previewed his plan in an online town hall meeting with parents, educators and students in Bellevue, Moses Lake, Spokane and Tacoma. Inslee said he intends to aggressively pursue improvements at all levels of education, from a significant expansion in early learning and all-day kindergarten to a freeze on public college tuition and additional financial aid to help keep college affordable.

Friday, December 12, 2014

National PTA Pledges Support to White House Invest in US Initiative

New initiative brings together corporations, foundations and nonprofits to increase investments in, and expand access to, high-quality early childhood education

Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced the launch of Invest in US, a national campaign and challenge to business leaders, philanthropists, advocates and public officials to increase investments in high-quality early learning programs for children from birth to age five. The initiative builds on President Obama’s call in his 2014 State of the Union address to expand access to high-quality early education for all children.

“The education of our nation’s children must begin long before they enter school as research shows that providing effective, targeted supports and interventions to children and parents starting at birth will better prepare them for academic and career success,” said Otha Thornton, president of National PTA. “For decades, National PTA has called for the prioritization of early childhood education, and the association is pleased to support the Invest in US initiative to ensure that every child has access to high-quality early learning programs.”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

National PTA Applauds Bipartisan Legislation to Improve the Nation’s Juvenile Justice System

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Dec. 11, 2014) Today, a bill to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) was introduced in the Senate as a means to improve and strengthen the juvenile justice system in the United States. The JJDPA, which was signed into law in 1974, prevents children and youth from entering the juvenile justice system and protects those currently in the system.

Since the passage of the JJDPA, thousands of children and youth have been provided with family and community-based alternatives to incarceration and kept separate from adults in detention. While the impact of the JJDPA over the last 40 years has been remarkable, improvements need to be made to the nation’s juvenile justice system. Loopholes left in the JJDPA as well as amendments made to the law over the years have weakened its protections and resulted in thousands of children and youth being detained for minor offenses such as skipping school. Additionally, research shows that minority youth are overrepresented in the system.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

National PTA President Otha Thornton Shares Efforts and Resources to Support Parents and Students with the Common Core

National PTA was featured in a story on the Common Core that aired on NBC4 in Washington, DC. In the story, President Otha Thornton shares National PTA’s efforts and resources to help parents understand the standards and new assessments as well as empower them to support their children with their learning. The story can be viewed by visiting: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video/#!/news/local/Common-Core-Presents-Parents-With-New-Challenges/283280431.

Additionally, President Thornton was invited to record a podcast as part of Learning First Alliance’s Get It Right campaign on the Common Core. In the podcast, President Thornton shares efforts undertaken at the local, state and national levels to ensure parents have an understanding of the standards, including what they are, how they came about and how they will help children graduate ready for college and today’s workforce. Visit http://www.learningfirst.org/get-it-right-podcasts-otha-thornton to listen to the podcast.

Source: National PTA

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Stand Up, Speak Up and Show Up

2015 Legislative Focus Day 
PTA advocates from across the state gathered in Olympia for WSPTA’s annual Legislative Focus Day on Monday, January 19, 2015.