Saturday, May 5, 2012

Resolutions all pass, as written

Subsidizing staff salaries ... Equitable educational opportunities ... Aligning sleep requirements to school start times ... Arts education

Voting delegates to the 99th Annual Washington State Convention voted to adopt three new resolutions and amend a fourth. All passed as written, though delegates considered several amendments.

The resolutions and supporting documents can be found here.

Subsidizing Certificated and Classified Staff Salaries

Resolved, that the Washington State PTA will continue to advocate for and support education reform measures including adequate and sustainable funding for basic education; and be it further

Resolved, that the Washington State PTA advises affiliated PTAs to use their resources to enhance every student’s educational experience through funding of programs and activities outside of the regular school program rather than by providing resources for additional staff during the school day.
  • Rationale: During these hard economic times it is important that PTAs know the ramifications of absorbing tough budget cuts from the state and district into their own budgets. The purpose of this resolution is to help PTAs make thoughtful consideration before deciding how to help.

Equitable Educational Opportunities

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.

Resolved, Washington State PTA will support innovative, engaging and rigorous instructional programs and work to spread awareness of the options available to communities.

Resolved, Washington State PTA will promote equitable educational opportunities that provide research-based instructional support to students enrolled in the state’s persistently lowest achieving schools and to students affected by the state’s achievement gaps. These will include, but not be limited to, supporting:
  • A tiered system of student-focused, academic supports, and identification of research-based interventions for targeted groups of students, and targeted professional development for academic intervention staff.
  • The identification and sustained implementation of research-based core reading and math programs that are sequenced K-12.
  • Consistently effective home-school communications and family engagement that assists in the instructional development of children
Resolved, Washington State PTA will work to implement a funding formula that ensures children with higher needs receive ongoing, adequate support to meet standards.
  • Rationale: Encouraging innovation and school options is a positive practice but accommodating it on its own hasn’t closed Washington’s education gaps. Generations of students continue to struggle. Children in persistently lowest achieving schools need viable choices, and students affected by the education gaps need enhanced academic supports. Research and practice have identified effective strategies; communities need to implement what we know and find more ways to provide targeted, ongoing support for all children. Communities in turn may need assistance in providing more academic options for families.

Alignment of Sleep Requirements for Optimum Health with School Start Times

Resolved: The Washington State PTA will encourage and support school start times that meet the optimum health requirements for sleep needs.

  • Rationale: Current scientific research shows that teens need more sleep than present school start times allow. Making start times later has been shown to help with student grades, attendance, driving safety, mood/depression, and aggression levels. School districts that have made the change have all seen benefits and none has changed back to earlier start times.

Arts Education in Public Schools and Washington State

Resolved, That Washington State PTA, local units, and councils continue to be strong advocates for improved arts education programs, encouraging school districts, educators and other interested sources to integrate the arts in their school curriculums, programs and
Resolved, That the Washington State PTA will help develop continue developing public awareness of the need for the arts education and equitable access to arts learning in our public schools and formally recognize May as Arts Education Month in Washington state, calling upon the community to celebrate the arts and promote the importance of arts education for every student at every school.

  • Amends existing resolution to recognize May as Arts Education Month
RESOLUTIONS ARE A RESOURCE that can be cited by members, the board, committees and staff to represent Washington State PTA positions and help local units and councils develop advocacy programs. Previously adopted Washington State PTA resolutions can be found here.

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