Kansas PTA Legislative Platform and Priorities
2016-2017 Kansas PTA
Legislative Platform and Priorities
The Kansas PTA will recommend, initiate and support legislation and appropriation for public schools that will ensure all children and youth in Kansas a high quality, adequately funded education. Recognizing that quality education for children is directly related to the effectiveness and efficiency of school personnel, the Kansas PTA will recommend, initiate and support legislation and appropriations to encourage, recognize and provide incentives for school personnel that will improve and benefit the education of children and youth in Kansas. The Kansas PTA recognizes no education system can be of the highest quality without the support, involvement and cooperation of parents, caregivers, legislators and the community.
HEALTH, WELFARE AND SAFETY—
The Kansas PTA will support legislation and appropriations that safeguard and/or related to the health and safety of children and youth.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION—
Kansas PTA will support high-quality early childhood education programs that are affordable and accessible, characterized by high standards for teaching, training, health and safety and incorporate strong family engagement components.
1. Kansas PTA will support 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.
2. Kansas PTA will support efforts to restore 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.
3. 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 Rose Capacities and the phrase ‘intellectual, educational, vocational and scientific improvement’ with the education governance structure (Kansas School Board, Kansas Department of Education, education scholars and practitioners).
4. 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. 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.
5. Kansas PTA supports a change in policy so that computer science courses in high school may be counted to meet a math or science course requirement. Currently, those classes count as elective credits.
6. 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 than public schools.
7. Kansas PTA will advocate for evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs ranging from comprehensive early childhood programs, funding for all-day kindergarten, to student engagement programs that reduce dropout rates and increase school completion.
8. While Kansas PTA supports the current state charter legislation, passed in 1994, that allows for the creation of charter schools under the supervision of local boards of education, Kansas PTA opposes any charter related legislation that: allows for non-licensed teachers or allows for authorizing entities that are for-profit, private or non-education.
9. Kansas PTA supports restoration and allocation of state funding for teacher mentoring, staff development and other evidenced-based programs and policies that promote a professional teaching community, teacher retention and recruitment of quality teachers.
10. Kansas PTA supports programming and policies related to safe routes to school, bully prevention, and the protection of children from gun violence.
11. Kansas PTA recognizes the value of collecting student data to support educational outcomes 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.
12. Kansas PTA will encourage the adoption of PTA family engagement standards into relevant legislation and policy.
Publication of the Kansas PTA Advocacy Leadership (2016-2017)
Denise Sultz, Kansas PTA President
Josh Halperin, Kansas PTA Vice President of Advocacy
Devin Wilson, Kansas PTA State Legislative Chair
Mary Sinclair, PhD, Team Advocate