Wednesday, August 2, 2017

PTA Takes Action

August 2, 2017
Federal Funding Process Gets a Late Start
CapitolBuilding(1).jpgIn July, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee that works on education funding and the full House Appropriations Committee both approved an education funding bill that would cut education spending by $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2018. The House education funding bill is expected to move to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote in September. The U.S. Senate has not released a draft of their education funding bill, but is expected to in September.
Tell Congress to #STOPCutsToClassrooms
StopCutstoClassroomsImage.jpgJoin PTA advocates across the country to demand that Congress #STOPCutsToClassrooms and invest more than 2% in public education before the Sept. 30 funding deadline.
Visit National PTA's #STOPCutsToClassrooms webpage to learn more about federal funding for public education and sign the petition to #STOPCutsToClassrooms
Why National PTA Endorsed the Teachers and Parents at the Table Act
TeachersParentsTableAct.jpgThe Teachers and Parents at the Table Act would create two committees made up of teachers, parents and family members to advise the Secretary of Education, report to Congress on family engagement in education and offer guidance for state and local education leaders to improve family engagement policies in schools.
Read more about PTA's stance in this press release, or read the full text of the bill.
August: Hottest Time for Advocacy
shutterstock_363406850.jpgMembers of Congress are heading home for their annual August recess. This is a great opportunity for your PTA to host site visits with your elected officials so they can see what your local PTA is doing for the schools in their district.
Not sure how to plan an event with your member of Congress? No problem! Check out National PTA’s Hosting a Site Visit for a Member of Congress resource.
Advocates of the Month
National PTA’s advocates of the month are the members of the Alachua County Council (ACC) of PTAs. ACC PTA President Khanh-Lien Banko and ACC PTA Advocacy Chair Rik McNeill, advocacy chair, recently wrote an Op-Ed in the Gainesville Sun, highlighting the important role that PTAs and members play in advocating on behalf of students and families.
They are working to organize forums and school-based meetings to inform families and school communities about the impact of a new, wide-sweeping education bill that was recently passed in Florida. Learn more about ACC PTA at and
Trainings and Resources
Save the Date! Join Us For ...
Webinar: What Makes a Good ESSA Report Card?
Tuesday, August 8, 4:00 p.m. EDT 
Join National PTA and Learning Heroes for a webinar to learn how school, district and state report cards required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) equip parents to make better decisions concerning their children's educational opportunities and become more effective advocates. Register now
PTA Live! Federal Funding for Low-Income Students
Friday, August 11, 3:00 p.m. EDT

As part of our #STOPCutsToClassrooms campaign, this PTA Live will discuss how federal funding for low-income students (also known as Title I funding) is used in schools and the need for greater investments in education.
PTA Live! Federal Funding for Students with Disabilities
Friday, August 18, 3:00 p.m. EDT

As part of our #STOPCutsToClassrooms campaign, this PTA Live will discuss how federal funding for students with disabilities through the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is used in schools.
Resource: Go Back-to-School With the PTA-NEA Family Guides
National PTA, in partnership with the National Education Association, is pleased to announce the release of the updated PTA-NEA Family Guides. These guides help families navigate common topics related to improving student outcomes and engaging families in their child’s education.
Topics include Preparing Your Child for School, Making Sure Your Child Gets the Education they Deserve, Helping Your Child with Today’s Math and Testing at Your Child’s School. Visit to see these and more!
Resources: How Test Results Can Help You Be a Better Advocate
All parents should be able to use results on tests to help improve their child’s learning and advocate for sound assessment practices. Use the following resources to ensure parents at your school are empowered to take an active role in advocating for sound assessment practices, not only for their children, but for every child.
School-Based Opportunities
Encourage Your School to Participate in the Congressional App Challenge
CACLogo.JPGThe Congressional App Challenge (CAC) is a congressional initiative to encourage student engagement in coding and computer science through local app challenges hosted by the Members of Congress. The CAC aims to bridge the gender, geographic and racial gaps in tech.
During the next 14 weeks, thousands of students in participating Congressional districts will create and submit their own original applications, that will be evaluated by panels of local judges. To get involved or for more info, visit
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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Listening to Your Community

Source: National PTA BacktoSchoolKit
Did you sign up for the kit already? If not, what are you waiting for?

Growing membership is an intentional and continuous effort to build positive, productive relationships, beginning with your PTA Board and continuing with families, teachers, and school staff.

Your PTA will increase in membership if every aspect of your PTA – every event, every communication, every interaction – is viewed as a way to achieve strong, positive, two-way communication with your community.
To do this effectively, you need to listen deeply to what families, teachers, and community members want and need.
Since PTAs are for everyone, units should seek to understand and support the needs of a wide variety of members — from future parents to senior citizens. Imagine how strong your community could be if every parent, every community member, and every business leader found a reason to get involved in PTA!

Questions to Consider
Ways to Learn More
Do your Board and membership reflect the diversity of families at your school (including race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language preferences and cultural norms)?
On or your school district website, you can find the following information about your school:
  • Racial/ethnic make-up
  • Percentage of families receiving free/reduced-price lunch
  • Percentage of English language learners
How do families and staff think PTA should support student success and well-being, or school improvements?
  • Survey
  • Listening sessions
  • Invite feedback
What limits families and school staff from supporting or volunteering with PTA?
  • Survey
  • Listening sessions
  • Invite feedback

When your PTA has shifted gears or improved something because you listened, share that! It reinforces the message that feedback is important and new ideas are welcome. For example:
  • “PTA heard from our members ... and in response, we will … ”
  • “Thanks to your suggestions … we will … ”
  • “Our survey results showed … and as a result we are … ”