Friday, October 28, 2016

Newly Added Resolutions

Greetings fellow advocates of Washington State PTA. As you know, WSPTA recently voted on our short-term (two-year) platform for the upcoming two legislative sessions. We're excited that we have such a strong, whole child focused short-term platform to guide our discussions and activities in Olympia. 

However, WSPTA's membership also added three new items to our long-term platform, and we want to make sure you know both about these new items, and the long-term platform in general. 

In WSPTA's nomenclature, our long-term platform is composed of Resolutions, which remain on the platform until/unless amended or removed by vote of the membership (at either Legislative Assembly or Convention). 

While our short-term platform gets a lot of attention, it's imperative to remember that we are always looking for ways we can advance our long-term platform as well. Typically, Resolutions cover topics that take longer than a single two-year period to significantly move forward.  

By having Resolutions that remain part of our guidance for direct advocacy, WSPTA strengthens both our ability to advocate for children, and the perception of our strength as an organization by those policy-makers with whom we work year after year. 

So what are the three new additions to our Resolutions? First up is a resolution regarding sensory disorders, including (but not limited to) Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia,and Dyspraxia. This resolution offers guidance to WSPTA's long-term efforts to embody the philosophy that, when we say we advocate for all children, all means all. Creating and supporting inclusive classrooms that are well-suited for learners of all ability-levels is good for all of our children, and this resolution is built on that principle. 

Next, WSPTA passed a Washington-specific version of National PTA's resolution on Child Sex Trafficking. Sadly, Washington is a hotbed of activity for child sex traffickers because of both our state's geography, and our proximity to international borders. Supporting efforts to end this scourge is wholly aligned with the mission and vision of WSPTA, and this resolution gives us guidance on how we can participate in helping the children caught in this horrific practice. 

Finally, WSPTA passed a resolution regarding Mitigating Environmental Hazards and Contaminants in Schools. This resolution provides guidance as WSPTA leads and participates in discussions about ensuring environmental safety is a high priority in our schools, while acknowledging that practices and policies at the district and school levels need to be aligned with current best-practices. 

Of course, these three new resolutions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to WSPTA's long-term platform. We ask that you familiarize yourself with our standing Resolutions and keep them in mind as you have conversations in your homes, schools, and communities.  

As always, WSPTA's leadership is here to serve you. Never hesitate to reach out if there's something we can do to help. Your service to the children of the state of Washington is supremely appreciated!  

Note: An updated version of the resolutions will be posted soon.

Duncan Taylor  

WSPTA Legislative Director  

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