Washington State PTA (WSPTA) President Barbara Martin was invited to share recommendations about how
to improve family engagement beyond strategies that cost money with
the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Committee.
|WSPTA President, Barbara Martin|
On Tuesday, January 31, President Martin offered three areas that pose barriers, including standards and expectations, incentives for teachers and districts, and time and space constraints that negatively impact the level of family and community engagement a school can reasonably achieve.
The WSPTA adopted a position at last October's Legislative Assembly to support funding for 1.0 FTE per prototypical school to support family engagement. The Office of the Education Ombuds told the Senate committee that every school in Maryland that is designated a "community school" has a full-time coordinator, paid at the same level as an assistant principal. This leads to more value for the position, stronger respect and active outreach.
Several bills have been introduced this session, including one to define the position as a "Family and Community Engagement Coordinator" and to staff it at the 1.0 FTE per prototypical school.