Legislation and Advocacy
Since 1899 Pennsylvania PTA has successfully advocated for children and education in the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania PTA speaks on behalf of every child with one voice before the state legislature and various statewide education agencies. Pennsylvania PTA has formed partnerships with numerous statewide organizations that support PTA’s Mission and priorities. These partnerships help position PTA as a major voice on issues related to the education and healthy development of children. These partnerships also provide opportunities for PTA of offer new resources and program opportunities to PTA members.
Today, Pennsylvania PTA members continue to lead the fight to keep public funds in public schools by opposing vouchers and tuition tax credits. Pennsylvania PTA is advocating for equity in funding for all Pennsylvania Schools, so that children are not penalized by the geographic location of their homes with our involvement in the statewide costing-out study. The state board of managers represents the organization on many statewide education committees, such as Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Committee of Practitioners that oversees the No Child Left Behind Act’s application, the Special Education Communication Council, and the Governor’s Commission on Training America’s Teachers. The commission was appointed by Governor Rendell and Pennsylvania PTA President Caroline Allen represented the association. We have provided the State Board of Education with written and verbal testimony in support of the revisions of Chapter 49 – Certification of Professional Personnel.
Pennsylvania PTA legislative committee is appointed by the Pennsylvania PTA president and chaired by the Legislation and Advocacy Chairman. The committee’s primary responsibility is to review PTA’s legislative program and make recommendations to the state board of managers and other PTA leaders. The committee also works to increase PTA members’ participation in advocacy opportunities in Harrisburg as well as in local communities. The committee achieves this in a variety of ways.
Ø Member-to-Member Network Action Alerts – When immediate action is needed to effect change on legislative issues, Pennsylvania PTA sends out action alerts to its members. These time sensitive e-mails highlight legislation moving through the legislature that will affect issues important to PTA members.
Ø Monthly Legislative E-newsletters – Pennsylvania PTA’s monthly e-newsletter that reports on the activities of lawmakers and decision makers in the Commonwealth.
Ø The Advocate – Pennsylvania PTA’s Legislative publication, published quarterly, offers articles and tips on how to advocate on a number of issues.
Ø Post Card Writing Campaigns – Pennsylvania PTA initiated letter writing campaigns to state lawmakers conducted at state PTA events that address many issues on which PTA advocates.
Pennsylvania PTA resolutions committee is appointed by the Pennsylvania PTA president and chaired by the Legislation and Advocacy Chairman.
Resolutions are official documents outlining the opinion, will, or intent of the association to address problems, situations, or concerns that affect children and youth and require statewide action to seek resolution in the issue. The state PTA resolutions committee’s primary responsibility is to review PTA’s resolutions and make recommendations to the state board of managers and other PTA leaders. The state PTA has adopted hundreds of resolutions on a wide variety of state education, health, and safety issues since its first convention. Over the past two years, the state PTA resolutions committee has submitted several new resolutions for consideration, including Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System (PVAAS), Privacy of Student Records-Military Recruiters, Sun Safety: Skin Cancer Prevention Measures at School, Pay-To-Play School Programs, The Importance of Early Care and Education On School Readiness, and Homework. In 2006, Pennsylvania PTA submitted our School Health Council Resolution to National PTA for consideration. The National PTA Board approved it for convention 2006 and it was adopted by the National PTA Convention delegates in June 2006 without question! Making this a Pennsylvania PTA first!
Times and issues have changed over the past century, but the idea of advocating for children statewide has not—Pennsylvania PTA is alive and well!