Saturday, August 26, 2017

Tell Congress to #STOPCutsToClassrooms

PTA One Voice Blog

Posted: 25 Aug 2017 08:27 AM PDT

Our public schools are at a crisis point. Federal funding for public education has remained at 2% of the federal budget for decades, despite the increase in public school enrollment and the rising cost of education resources and services. This disparity between funding and actual cost means that Congress has essentially made cuts to classroom budgets across the nation.

These overall classroom funding cuts couldn’t be coming at a worse time. Today’s classrooms are more in need of funding than ever—most public-school students are now from low-income families, yet federal spending for high-poverty schools has decreased by more than 8% in recent years. There are also more students with special needs in our nation’s schools than ever before, but funding to serve these students has also decreased.

Congress must agree on the federal budget by Oct. 1, 2017. With restrictions on how much the government can spend in fiscal year 2018, there is a strong possibility that funding for education will be cut.
Already this year, President Donald Trump proposed cutting $9.2 billion. More recently, the U.S. House of Representatives proposed a cut of $2.4 billion. Both proposed cuts would be extremely damaging to public schools that already struggle to give students the education they deserve.

All PTA members and education advocates must take a stand. Tell your friends and family to demand that Congress “STOP Cuts to Classrooms” and invest more than 2% in public education before the Oct. 1, 2017 deadline.

One way to spread the word is by doing the National PTA #STOPCutsToClassrooms social media challenge. It’s easy!
  1. First, sign the #STOPCutsToClassrooms petition
  2. Then, take a picture and/or videoof yourself holding the “I signed the petition to #STOPCutsToClassrooms” official sign and post the image on your social media platforms.
  3. Finally, tag up to three friends to encourage them to do the same.
For those who have already signed the petition and taken the challenge, please continue to participate in Funding Fridays every Friday until September 29. Also stay tuned for the release of a #STOPCutsToClassrooms letter to Congress in September.

For more information about the #STOPCutsToClassrooms campaign and to learn more about the state of federal funding for education programs, visit

Joshua Westfall is the government affairs manager at National PTA.

Friday, August 25, 2017

National PTA Announces STEM + Families Grant Program

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Aug. 25, 2017)—National PTA announced today that $100,000 in funding will be awarded to PTAs across the country this school year to increase family engagement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The funding is part of National PTA’s STEM + Families initiative.

“We know—and decades of research proves—that families play a critical role in children’s success. We also know that parents and guardians have the biggest influence on a child’s educational and career decisions,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “Family engagement is essential to strengthen STEM education, bridge the STEM gap and help all children realize their fullest potential. National PTA is excited to further our STEM + Families initiative and equip PTAs and schools nationwide with resources to engage families in STEM education.”

With the funding, PTAs and schools will:
·         Engage families using hands-on learning experiences at PTA STEM + Families Events
·         Educate families about STEM literacy, STEM careers and STEM education pathways and empower them to support their children’s success in STEM
·         Connect families and students to STEM enrichment and professional mentors

The funding will be granted in phases. An initial 35 $1,000 National PTA STEM + Families Math Grants, sponsored by Mathnasium, will be awarded this fall to council and local PTAs selected through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process. The deadline to apply for this first wave of grants is Aug. 31, 2017.

“Mathnasium is excited to build on our relationship with National PTA by sponsoring the STEM + Families Math Grants,” said Peter Markovitz, founder and chief executive officer of Mathnasium. "We’re honored to work side by side with the dedicated parent leaders of PTA to engage families in math nights, promote the awareness of STEM education and careers, and pursue our mission that all children should understand and master math."

Another $65,000 in National PTA STEM + Families Science Grants, sponsored by Bayer, will be awarded to state, council and local PTAs selected through a second RFP that will be launched later in the 2017-2018 school year.

"Bayer is committed to providing comprehensive, impactful, hands-on programs that will help more families become engaged in science,” said Sarah Toulouse, executive director, Bayer USA Foundation. “We are pleased to support National PTA in their efforts to achieve this goal through STEM + Families.”

In addition to the grant program, National PTA is pleased to announce that logic and STEM game maker ThinkFun has become a new supporting sponsor of STEM + Families. As part of ThinkFun’s support of the initiative, the company will donate educational games to all National PTA STEM + Families grant recipients in the coming school year.

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,

About Mathnasium
Mathnasium, the nation’s leading math-only learning center franchise, specializes in teaching kids math in a way that makes sense to them. The result of 40+ years of instruction and research, the Mathnasium Method has transformed the way children understand and appreciate math—whether they’re ahead of the curve, performing at grade level, or falling behind. Franchising since 2003, Mathnasium has become one of the fastest-growing educational franchises, with a new center opening each week. There are more than 800 Mathnasium franchises in the U.S. and abroad. For more information, visit or call (877) 601-MATH.  

About Bayer 
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2016, the Group employed around 115,200 people and had sales of EUR 46.8 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.7 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to

About ThinkFun Inc.
For over 30 years, ThinkFun Inc. has been dedicated to creating games that spark curiosity, cultivate confidence, and nurture life-long learners. Its games encourage interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM), while generating excitement for a world of learning through play. Innovation, creativity, value, and fun are the four elements that comprise the development of every game. Ignite the mind, and change the world for each player.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA, (703) 518-1242

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

112th Ohio PTA Convention_Workshops/Vendors Requested

VENDORs & WORKSHOPs requested

Ohio PTA 112th Convention & Exhibition

April 20 - 22, 2018 

DoubleTree Hotel
175 Hutchinson Ave
Columbus, 43235

Interested in advertising in
The Ohio PTA Voice

Please contact

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Back to School 2017: Top 10 Things to Know

Ohio Department of Education

Release date: 8/17/2017
The 2017-2018 academic year is under way across Ohio, and the Ohio Department of Education has some great resources for families as our children head back to the classroom. Here are the top 10 things to know this year:
  1. Students in the class of 2018 have multiple pathways to earn a high school diploma so they can move on to their next steps in education or a career. This fact sheet helps explain those options.
  2. High school seniors can boost their earning power when they graduate from high school with an industry-recognized credential. The Senior Only Credential Program is for students in their senior year who have completed most of their curriculum requirements. Find out more about how an industry-recognized credential can be part of a student’s path to graduation by clicking here.
  3. Create an Ohio Means Jobs K-12 Backpack: With this tool, middle and high school students can explore career interests, launch career plans, build resumes and search for job options. Get started and build yours today.
  4. Early learning experiences last a lifetime. It is key that all families have access to early childhood education information about high-quality early care, preschool, kindergarten and other educational settings to prepare young children for a lifetime of learning and success. The Department has a wide variety of resources for parents of our youngest students.
  5. Special education, for students ages 3 to 21, is guided by federal and state requirements. The Department has created A Guide to Parent Rights in Special Education.
  6. The ability to read is the foundation of learning. Research shows that children who are not reading at a third grade level by the end of grade 3 are likely to have trouble learning in all classroom subjects in higher grades. The Department has resources for families related to early literacy and the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
  7. Homeless students have rights to the same education as any other student in Ohio. The Department has developed a helpful brochure, A Parent’s Guide to the Rights of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness.
  8. Keep our schools and students safe: The free SaferOH tip line allows students and adults to anonymously share information with school officials and law enforcement about threats to student safety — whether that involves a threatened mass incident or harm to a single student. Calls or texts to 844-SaferOH (844-723-3764) are accepted and answered 24 hours a day. Click here for more information.
  9. Ohio families can now get the latest education news, search for schools in their neighborhoods and look at their schools’ report cards right from their smartphones or iPads using the new Ohio Department of Education mobile app. Download the app at
  10. Join the conversation: Sign up for text alerts from the Ohio Department of Education at