Tuesday, July 11, 2017

ADVOCACY ALERT – Help us Say Thank You on July 11

ADVOCACY ALERT – Help us Say Thank You on July 11

With your help, we can send a "LOUD" voice of Thanks!

Last week a group of 20 moderate Republicans, called the Tuesday Group, sent a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) requesting a bicameral, bipartisan agreement to stop sequestration and raise the federal spending caps for fiscal year (FY) 2018.

National PTA has long advocated to replace sequestration with a balance approach to deficit reduction that does not further cut funding for education program.  Up until this letter there had been a lot of discussion about cutting federal spending on domestic programs—which include education programs—by billions of dollars.  The TuesdayGroup letter to the Speaker was significant because it accounted for enough opposition to encourage Congress to possibly consider a bipartisan budget agreement.

Action Requested:  
Ohio PTA is asking for your assistance in thanking Representative Dave Joyce for signing on to the letter to Speaker Ryan on July 11 (State Thank You Day).  The thank you can be tweeted, posted on Facebook, or other social media you use!

Sample Tweet:  

Thank you @RepDaveJoyce for calling for a bipartisan budget deal to #RaiseTheCaps & support educ funding to #STOPCutsToClassrooms

After you participate, please share and ask your friends to help send a message of thanks too!

Thank you for your help!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Latest info on Ohio's ESSA plan

Latest info on Ohio's ESSA plan. 

The Ohio Department of Education will be submitting its ESSA state plan by September 18 to the U.S. Department of Education (ED).  Before Ohio submits its plan, we encourage you to take two actions to help ensure parent voices are heard on your state’s new education plan:

  1. Send a letter to your Governor and state education chief or superintendent urging them to include a description of how different stakeholders have been meaningfully engaged in the development of the new state education plan.  National PTA has put together this stakeholder toolkit (attached and on www.pta.org/essa), which contains template letters, sample graphics and messaging you can use and share with your membership.  As you may recall, ED no longer requires states to include a description of their stakeholder consultation in the development of their new ESSA plan. 

  1. Share this webinar throughout your social media networks and other PTA channels, if your comment period is still open so that parents and families can comment on the new education plan in your state. Here is some social media for your to promote the webinar as well –

Friday, July 7, 2017

Join PTA in our commitment to #StopCuts To Classrooms

Did you know that Federal funding for public education programs has remained at 2% of the federal budget for decades, despite the increase in public school enrollment and the rising cost of educational resources and services?

This disparity between funding levels and actual costs means that the federal government has essentially enacted cuts to classrooms. National PTA is running a nationwide campaign—from July 7 to September 29—to raise public awareness that current levels of federal education funding are an inadequate investment in our children.

We need YOU to help to make this initiative a success—Every state PTA, local unit, and PTA member is critical to stopping cuts to classrooms! 

Here's how to participate in the STOP Cuts to Classrooms campaign:
  • Sign the petition to #STOPCutsToClassrooms to make your voice heard and receive regular updates on the campaign.
  • Visit National PTA's #STOPCutsToClassrooms webpage to learn more about federal funding for public education and view the campaign toolkit for more info.


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July 6, 2017
6keysdoc.JPGIs Your State Engaging Families in ESSA?
Parents and their children are the consumers of our nation's public education system, and parents have always been essential partners in education. However, they haven’t always been included at the decision-making table. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides a unique opportunity for parents and families to give their input and to hold states and districts accountable for their children's educational experience.
In this new resource, National PTA has identified six critical ways states, school districts and schools should be engaging parents and families as part of ESSA, and all new education initiatives. Use the rubric on the back to evaluate how your state, school district and school are doing!
National PTA Endorses 5 Bills in Congress Aimed at Helping Students and Schools
CapitolBuilding(1).jpgLast month, National PTA endorsed five pieces of legislation intended to improve the education experience of students in the United States. The bills range from improving the infrastructure of school buildings, kitchens and busses to providing necessary funding to serve students with disabilities. Click on the links below to see the text of each bill.
Check the National PTA Key Legislation webpage for updates on the bills and National PTA’s Legislative Checklist and PTA Advocacy Changes Lives for more information on National PTA’s advocacy efforts.
PTA Delegates Pass, Update Resolutions at Annual Convention
2017ConventionLogo.pngAt Win with PTA ... the 2017 National PTA Convention & Expo, PTA members adopted one resolution and one amendment to an existing resolution. The adopted resolution is about Healthy Sleep for Adolescents. This resolution urges PTA members to educate the community about the positive impact that sufficient, quality sleep has for teens’ health, safety and academic success, and to urge policymakers to develop solutions and policies to encourage quality sleep for teens.
PTA members also amended the Sale, Resale and Destruction of Firearms resolution to include a provision about the importance of having research on the causes and effects of gun violence.
The National PTA board of directors also passed a Rights and Services for Undocumented Children position statement stating all students, regardless of immigration status, have a right to quality, free public education, students' immigration status must be kept private and that schools should be “sensitive locations” where immigration authorities cannot enforce laws.
Tools and Resources
WebinarIcon.jpgWatch These Recorded Advocacy Webinars
Take Our Survey!
National PTA Headquarters
1250 N. Pitt Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone: (703) 518-1200
Toll Free: (800) 307-4782
Fax: (703) 836-0942
E-mail: info@PTA.org

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The 2017 Back-to-School Kit has launched!

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Your 2017-2018 Back-to-School Kit is Here!
The 2017-2018 Back-to-School Kit is up and ready! As a hardworking volunteer for your PTA, we know this year's kit will help make your upcoming school year a complete success.
To register, visit PTA.org/BTSKRegister.
THREE things you should know about the 2017-2018 Back-to-School Kit:
  1. PTA-Recruitment-Mockup.jpgWe completely revamped the PTA Leaders (formerly PTA President), Finance and Membership sections to make them even more user-friendly than before.
  2. When you register for this year's kit, you'll get a Recruitment Tool and a poster-sized Calendar of PTA events. We will mail them at the end of July.
  3. The website is mobile-friendly so you can use it on your smartphone, tablet or laptop from anywhere you have an internet connection.
If you have any questions, feel free to email BackToSchool@PTA.org

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Connecticut Father Takes Helm of Nation’s Preeminent Child Advocacy Association

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (June 30, 2017)—James L. Accomando of Fairfield, Conn. has been installed as the 55th president of National PTA, the oldest and largest all-volunteer child advocacy association in the United States. Accomando’s installation took place during a ceremony at the 2017 National PTA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas.

“Jim is a passionate and dedicated advocate for children and education, and we welcome him as president,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of National PTA. “His steadfast commitment to our mission, his leadership experience at all levels of PTA and his extensive professional career will build on the association’s rich 120-year legacy and make a positive impact on the lives of our nation’s children.”

As president, Accomando is committed to ensuring that all children have equity and quality in learning and access to a first-class public education. He will also focus on making sure PTA is relevant to today’s families.

“This is an extraordinary time in our history, where the issues affecting our children can greatly shift the progress we made in the past and the progress we are going to make in the future,” said Accomando. “These issues, however, provide us with great hope, promise, and tremendous opportunities to make an impact. I look forward to working with the Board of the Directors, members, partners, and staff to meet generational and demographic needs and challenges of today’s families, support and enhance our nation’s school system and make sure every child’s potential becomes a reality. I am honored to lead the association.”

Accomando has served in a variety of leadership positions in PTA. For the past two years, he served as president-elect of National PTA. Prior to his election, he served a two-year term on the National PTA Board of Directors and was also a member of the National PTA Standards of Affiliation Committee. Additionally, Accomando served as president of the Connecticut PTSA, president of Fairfield Ludlowe High School PTA, and was a board member and executive at Holland Hill Elementary School and Fairfield Woods and Tomlinson Middle Schools. While president of Connecticut PTSA, he was instrumental in the Snow Flakes for Sandy Hook Elementary School Healing Initiative.

Accomando will serve as president of National PTA until June 2019.

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.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@pta.org, (703) 518-1242

Thursday, June 29, 2017

PTA e-Learning Courses are Now Mobile-Friendly!

Did you know that you can take National PTA e-learning courses on any platform? 
You can take our e-learning courses on your desktop or laptop, tablet or smartphone from anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. Taking an e-learning course with National PTA has never been easier!
Keep an eye out for a few NEW e-learning courses launching in April: 
501(c)(3) Basics for Local PTAs
This new finance eLearning course teaches local leaders how best to effectively maintain their 501(c)(3) nonprofit status with the IRS. Don't wait! Make sure your Local PTA is in compliance with the IRS today!

501(c)(3) Basics for State PTAs
If you need help creating effective strategies to support your local PTAs in maintaining their 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, this is the course you have been looking for! 

Conceptos Básicos de la Membresia
This course provides the same great information to our Spanish-speaking members as the Membership Basics e-learning course does in English. 

Another new and exciting development is the change to the look of our e-learning library page. Now, when local and state leaders visit PTA.org/eLearning, they will see the courses that have been created for their current position within PTA!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Collect Dues Online!

Ohio PTA is helping you move PTA Dues online with a new custom collecting tool! Go here to get started: https://my.cheddarup.com/orgs/ohiopta/signup

Want to move PTA dues online? Ohio PTA has the tool for you. Watch this quick 2-minute video to get started.  

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Leadership Training Conferences THIS Summer!

This a great way to get your PTA in gear for the new school year! 
Annual Summer Leadership Training Conferences to provide training, advocacy awareness, networking, and important resources. 
BOGO $50 / Register- online or via snail mail

*******The first leadership training is Saturday, July 22, 2017 (can register at the door)
Registration 8:30 am
8:50 am to 3:15 pm
South-Western Career Academy
4750 Big Run South Road
Grove City, Ohio 43123
*******The second leadership training is Saturday, August 5, 2017 (registration deadline August 1st)
Registration 8:30 am
8:50 am to 3:15 pm
North Royalton Middle School
14709 Ridge Road
North Royalton, Ohio 44133

BOGO $50 / Register- online http://www.ohiopta.org/Events.aspx or via snail mail
Roundtable discussions will also be held on various topics of interest to members.
Check only FIVE (5) workshop interests (Gold Key I and II opportunities)

$50 BOGO – bring a friend for free! Lunch provided.
(Please indicate on form if Vegetarian option is needed)
Planned Workshops:
All workshops subject to change based on overall registration.
□ Councils are the Key
□ Social Media Practices & Policies
□ Membership (beyond recruiting)
□ Grassroots Advocacy
□ Conflict Management (Keeping the Peace in Your PTA)
□ Team Building
□ Nominating Committee
□ Goal Setting
□ Leadership (Enhancing Your Leadership Tool Kit)
□ President I
□ President II
□ 2–hour All About Being Treasurer (includes budget and financial review)
□ Mock Meeting (Parliamentary Procedure)
□ Bylaws

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cuyahoga County Opiate Task Force and the Ohio PTA

Dear PTA Leaders,
The Cuyahoga County Opiate Task Force and the Ohio PTA are asking for your assistance in the ongoing battle to halt the opioid epidemic.  It has become evident that prevention is the only long-term solution.   You can be a catalyst in helping to save children's lives by starting a conversation with your school administrators that evaluates current and future drug education programming.  This is an important piece in plans to launch a statewide pilot initiative called the Drug Education School Challenge (D.E.S.C.).
Please take a moment to read, print and organize the files listed below.  You can access them via the Google Drive link in this email.
First Step - Print and staple the Documents for PTA Leader in the following order:
  • Dear PTA Leader Letter
  • School Information Questionnaire - Student Education
  • School Information Questionnaire - Parent Education

Second Step - Print and staple the Documents for School Administrator in the following order:

  • D.E.S.C. Overview for  School Administrators
  • Drug Education Programming Considerations
  • Drug Education Programming Resource List
Next Steps
  1. Meet with your school administrator, bringing the above documents.
  2. Complete the School Information Questionnaires with your administrator.
  3. Scan the completed School Information Questionnaires and email them to Ohio PTA athws@ohiopta.org by Friday, June 16, 2017.  Although participation is optional, all PTAs that send in the completed surveys will be entered into a raffle for a $50 VISA gift card.
If you have questions or would like to hear more about the D.E.S.C., please join us for an informational statewide call hosted by Ohio PTA on Tuesday, May 30, from 8-9:00 p.m.
Dial-in number: (641) 715-3580 / Access code: 332-160
You can also email Ohio PTA at hws@ohiopta.org at any time.  Your feedback will guide the scoring framework that will ultimately provide public and monetary recognition to schools participating in the D.E.S.C. for the 2017-18 school year.

Thank you in advance for supporting this collaborative pilot initiative, especially at this busy time of year.  Together we can make a difference in the futures of Ohio’s children and families.


Sheila Ragland
President, Ohio PTA

The Power and Peril of Myth for Today’s College Students

Source: National PTA One Voice Blog
Posted: 23 May 2017 09:52 AM PDT

Originally published on GatesFoundation.org. 

We are now entering what is perhaps my favorite time of the year: graduation season. As a veteran faculty member and administrator, I have fond memories of commencement ceremonies, seeing the joy and pride in the faces of graduates and their families and knowing many of the stories behind those smiles.

While graduation season is filled with inspiring stories of persistence, sacrifice, and accomplishment, it also gives rise to some lingering myths about our students and what it takes for them to get to graduation. These myths hurt students because they help preserve a status quo in which not enough of them succeed. We can and must bust these myths.

MYTH 1: College is not for everyone, and too many people are going to college. When many people hear the word “college,” they think only of four-year universities and rightly argue that not everyone needs a four-year degree.

But in today’s world, it is important to define college as a meaningful credential after high school – everything from short-term certificates in areas such as information technology to doctorates that can take up to a decade to complete. By that standard, we don’t have enough people going to college. Leading labor market projections show that our economy could face a shortfall of up to 11 million credentialed workers by 2025. And the data are clear that today’s labor market clearly favors those with post-high school education, with nearly all of the post-recession jobs going to those with more than a high school diploma. Additionally, it is becoming more difficult to earn a family-supporting wage with a high school diploma or less.

It is time to stop arguing over whether everyone needs college and instead focus on the kind of college that different people need. Otherwise we have no hope of reaching a national attainment goal of 60 percent of adults with a credential of value – or coming anywhere close to it.

MYTH 2: Students don’t make it through college because they are not college material. I’ve had the opportunity to observe and be part of conversations with policymakers and opinion leaders, and the discussion of why students drop out nearly always ends up in some version of the film Animal House…students weren’t motivated to study and/or partied too much. It’s a convenient and time-honored narrative.

Unfortunately, the facts indicate otherwise. Four in 10 of today’s college students are 25 or older, more than one-quarter of them have children, nearly two-thirds of them are working while enrolled, and one-third of them come from households earning $20,000 or less per year. These students are plenty motivated. But they are also juggling work, family, and studies with little margin for error, and are trying to navigate institutions that are not prepared to teach when they are ready to learn and not equipped to help them plot a course. And the story of students being able to work their way through college is heartwarming but hopelessly outdated.

Institutions like Sinclair Community College saw that, and began to develop tools that helped students understand and take ownership of their path to a degree, no matter where it started. And they got results. Students participating in their technology assisted advising program graduate at twice the rate of students who do not.

MYTH 3: Income might be a barrier to a college degree, but race isn’t. I wish more than anything that this statement was true. But it simply is not. Our colleges and universities have made great strides in expanding access in the last generation – the share of non-white students has doubled. At the same time, attainment gaps between white and black students and white and Hispanic students have stubbornly persisted and even worsened over the same period.

The good news is that an increasing number of institutions are taking action to close those gaps, and some, like Georgia State University, already have. And they will tell you that they didn’t get there through big pronouncements or massive infusions of funding (in fact, many did in situations of declining funding), but by doing the small things right, like helping students correct course registration mistakes that, left unchanged, would have eventually led to dropout.

Myths aren’t in and of themselves bad things – some of the richest stories of all time trace their roots back to ancient Greece and Rome. But when it comes to our students and what they can bring to our communities and our economy, mythology needs to give way to reality.

Dan Greenstein is the director of postsecondary success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.