ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 21, 2018)—National PTA joins students, families, educators, school administrators,
community leaders and the nation in grief over the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and all
acts of gun violence involving children and youth. This kind of loss is unimaginable, and our country has
experienced far too many gun-related tragedies. It is urgent that we work together to find solutions and make
meaningful changes to keep our children safe.
 
“Every child deserves to learn in an environment that is safe and to have the opportunity to grow into a happy
and healthy adult,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “Our top priorities as a nation should be to
protect our children, meet the needs of the whole child and ensure every child reaches their full potential. It is
critical that solutions are enacted to eliminate gun violence.”
 
National PTA urges Congress to adopt legislation that would help prevent future tragedies from occurring while
preserving the lawful use of firearms for sport and personal protection. National PTA has a strong history of
advocating for laws and regulations in the areas of gun safety and violence prevention and supports the
following policy recommendations:
National PTA also advocates for preventative measures to educate students, educators and community
members on firearm safety and violence prevention, such as:
At the same time, National PTA urges federal, state and local policymakers to prioritize mental health education,
early intervention, prevention and access to school and community-based mental health personnel and services,
so that all children can reach their fullest potential (Position Statement on Early Identification and Interventions
for Children with Mental Health Needs, 2017). National PTA has long been committed to providing improved
mental health programs and services to children, youth and their families and believes that all children and
youth have the right to mental health treatment. National PTA recommends:
  • Federal, state and local policies prioritize outreach and education—including professional development for all school-based employees—in schools and communities regarding childhood mental health.
  • Resources are specifically provided to build mental and behavioral health system capacity within schools and communities to ensure students can receive a proactive continuum of behavioral and mental health services.
  • States and school districts provide the necessary resources to ensure adequate ratios of school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers and school nurses, who are the most qualified professionals to provide school-based mental health services.
“Resolutions and position statements inform PTA's advocacy efforts on behalf of kids and schools,” added
Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA urges our members and all child
advocates to reach out to their members of Congress and state and local policymakers to ensure schools and
communities have the resources and capacity to provide a safer and healthier environment for all students.”
 
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community
leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA
is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a
relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA
is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of
children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.
 
Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@PTA.org, (703) 518-1242

 

2017-2018 Kansas PTA

Legislative Platform and Priorities

PTA Mission and Values. The mission of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. Initiatives of the PTA are aligned with this mission and guided by five core values: collaboration, commitment, diversity, respect and accountability. 

EDUCATION PLATFORM – Kansas PTA supports equitable access to quality education that provides all Kansas children the opportunity to make significant growth toward and to achieve the state education standards. The Kansas PTA recognizes no education system can be of the highest quality without the support, involvement and collaboration of parents, caregivers, legislators and the community.

Priority 1. Kansas PTA supports efforts to strengthen and improve the Kansas public school finance system, which includes legislation and policies that:

a. uphold the state’s constitutional obligations to make suitable provision for the finance of the Kansas public schools, achieving both equitable and adequate funding, as informed by actual costs and other credible non-partisan sources.

b. pursue solutions to fully fund state and federal educational mandates, including special education, without disproportionately shifting the burden to local communities.

Priority 2. Kansas PTA will support an equitable and balanced tax policy to maintain a reliable revenue stream for public education. A policy which draws upon a combination of income, property and sales taxes has been proven by history to be a secure and sustainable approach.

Priority 3. Kansas PTA supports policies that promote professional learning communities, teacher retention and recruitment including the restoration and allocation of state funding for teacher mentoring, staff development and other evidenced-based programs and policies that promote quality instruction.

Priority 4. Kansas PTA opposes the use of vouchers, scholarships, or tax credits toward the tuition of non-public schools, with the authority to discriminate in admissions, provide sectarian religious instruction and operate under different rules of transparency and accountability than public schools.

Priority 5.  Kansas PTA supports current state charter legislation, passed in 1994.  Charter legislation should assure that charter school authorizing bodies meet the highest levels of accountability, ensure transparency, and meaningfully engage parents.  Charter Schools should be open to all students and comply with federal and state laws governing public schools that require transparency, responsibility and accountability.  The National PTA Position Statement on Charter Schools can be found at www.pta.org for complete review.

Priority 6.  Kansas PTA advocates for evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs ranging from comprehensive early childhood programs, like PreK and Parents as Teachers, to funding for all-day kindergarten, to student engagement programs that reduce dropout rates and increase school completion.

Priority 7. Kansas PTA supports the State Board of Education’s routine review, revision and adoption of state education standards, including the College and Career Ready Standards (derived from the Common Core States Standards Initiative) and the Next Generation Science Standards. We encourage the State Board’s continued use of stakeholder engagement throughout the revision process, including meaningful input from parents and teachers. Kansas PTA opposes legislation that would ban or defund the education standards as approved by our freely elected, non-partisan members of the State Board of Education.

Priority 8. Kansas PTA recognizes the value of collecting student data to make informed decisions about educational policy and practices and thus will advocate that data collectors be transparent and engaged with families on the development, implementation and notification about policies and procedures related to the privacy and protection of student data; and, allow for parents and families to retain the right to review and request corrections of their child(ren)’s education records or profiles.

Priority 9. Kansas PTA will support efforts to preserve the Kansas Constitutional infrastructure for education, including nonpartisan elections of Kansas school board members and their appointment of our Education Commissioner, as well as, retaining the primary responsibility of defining the state education standards, as facilitated by the Kansas School Board, Kansas Department of Education, and with input from parents, education scholars, practitioners and other education stakeholders.

Priority 10. Kansas PTA will encourage the adoption of PTA family engagement standards into relevant legislation and policy.

 

 

HEALTH, WELFARE AND SAFETY PLATFORM – The Kansas PTA will support legislation and appropriations that safeguard and/or related to the health and safety of children and youth.

Priority 11. Kansas PTA supports programming and policies including the protection of children from gun violence, bullying prevention, and safe routes to school.

Priority 12. Kansas PTA supports prevention and early intervention programs and initiatives to reduce participation of youth in the juvenile justice system and to promote the prevention of delinquency.

Priority 13. Kansas PTA supports access to affordable health and dental care for children and families.

 

Publication of the Kansas PTA Advocacy Leadership (2017)

Media Contact

Heidi May Wilson, National PTA

hmay@PTA.org, (703) 518-1242

 

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Jan. 31, 2018)—Last evening, President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address, outlining his priority areas for 2018, including immigration and national security, infrastructure, jobs and the economy and trade. President Trump also called for bipartisan unity to move the country forward in the areas of importance to all Americans.

 

“National PTA agrees with the administration in the significance of Congress coming together to address the issues important to our country, and particularly, to our association,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “National PTA looks forward to continued dialogue with the administration and Congress to advance policies that make a difference for the education, health, safety, well-being and long-term success of all of our nation’s children.”

 

National PTA also echoes President Trump’s call for funding to improve the country’s infrastructure and advocates that the administration and Congress include school facilities in this.

 

“National PTA believes investments must be made in public school facilities for the benefit of all students and the future of our nation,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of National PTA. “Schools are a critical part of our nation’s infrastructure and it is essential that investments are made to repair, renovate and modernize school facilities to ensure they are safe, healthy and well-equipped to advance student achievement, grow our economy and improve our competitiveness.”

 

Additionally, like the administration, National PTA urges Congress to pass legislation that provides the young immigrants who have received protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program the ability to reach their fullest potential.

 

“Policymakers have a momentous opportunity to work together to address immigration in a fair, appropriate and equitable way and provide real solutions that benefit our nation’s diverse and talented youth and their families,” added President Accomando. “Ensuring that all children have the opportunity to succeed and become productive members of society is essential and in the best interest of our nation.”  

 

As throughout the association’s history, National PTA remains committed to working closely with the administration and Congress to promote educational equity and opportunity for all children so that every child’s potential becomes a reality and for the future of the country.

 

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.

Topeka — The Kansas State Board of Education will take the first official step on Tuesday toward implementing sweeping changes in the way public schools in the state are accredited and held accountable for making sure students receive an adequate education.

During its regular monthly meeting, the 10-member board will officially receive a proposed set of new regulations that represent the first overhaul of an accreditation system that has been in place since 1992, known as Quality Performance Accreditation, or QPA.

Attorneys for the state and the Legislature faced a barrage of questions from skeptical Kansas Supreme Court justices Tuesday scrutinizing the Legislature’s school finance plan.

Solicitor general Stephen McAllister and Jeff King, a former Senate vice president, sought to fend off claims from school districts that Kansas is doing too little to make up for several years in which budget cuts and funding stagnation became the norm and school budgets fell behind inflation.

The Gannon v. Kansas lawsuit is in its seventh year. In that time, the case has led to repeated rulings against the state for underfunding schools and responses by lawmakers in the form of appropriations bills.

What’s it all about? Here are five issues central to the battle. Significant numbers of Kansas children lack basic math and reading skills.

This is particularly true for students from socioeconomic groups that are historically disadvantaged, including children from low-income families and children from racial and ethnic minorities.

Status of School Finance Bill

This document provides KASB’s policy positions on school funding (first column), the bill as approved by the House (second column), explanation of the Senate substitute bill as recommended by the Senate committee (third column), and KASB’s comments or concerns in the fourth column.

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