Questions? Contact Kym Clayton, SHPTA Advocacy Director and/or Betsy Cohen, Council Advocacy Chair

Not registered to vote?  Register here!

Look up and/or contact your State Representatives and Senators here!

 

 

Focus Day 2015 Recap

THANK YOU to everyone who sent postcards and participated in Focus Day 2015 in Olympia! We had a great showing from Sunny Hills and Issaquah PTSA Council!  We were definitely motivated to stand up, speak up and show up. We packed into meeting rooms to meet with legislators and Governor Inslee, delivering individualized postcards from our members. Then parents, teachers and students from across Washington stood in solidarity on the Capitol steps in support of Funding McCleary and our other legislative priorities


Our legislators need to continue to hear from us this session about the importance of fully funding K-12 education. Do you know what issue Washington state legislators were contacted about the most last year? Chicken coops. That’s right, chicken coops. Because so many of us assume “someone must be handling that,” important issues like education often get overlooked.  No one else is handling it.  It’s up to parents, teachers and students to speak up about what issues are important to our kids.  Help let legislators know our kids are MORE important than chicken coops!  Make your voice heard.  Click here for a one stop tool to email your elected officials.   Want to stay informed or get more involved?  Reach out to Kym Clayton, Sunny Hills PTA Advocacy Director. 

           

Legislative Assembly-  Top 5 Priority Issues for 2015/16 Legislative Session

Top 5 Priority Issues Determined- Sunny Hills PTA members and delegates attended the Washington State PTA's 36th Annual Legislative Assembly on Oct. 24-25 in Vancouver, Washington.  After discussing 15 different proposals for consideration, delegates voted for the top 5 priorities.  As a result of the vote, the WSPTA's Top 5 Priorities for the 2014-2015 Legislative session are:

As part of the conference, the following issues were selected as the WSPTA’s priorities for focus during the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions: 

  1. Funding McCleary– ensuring that basic education is fully funded in Washington State.
  2. Creating Positive School Climates Through Social Emotional Learning– seeking and supporting policies and resources that create positive school climates, including the integration of social and emotional learning instruction; prioritized use of evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies for problem behaviors; adequate staffing of psychologists, counselors, social workers, school nurses and other professionals; and ongoing professional development for educators.
  3. Increasing Capital Funding– supporting capital improvements and adequate funding for school facilities
  4. Increased Access to Higher Education– loan, grant, and scholarship programs that would increase the affordability and access to higher education for middle and lower income families
  5. Breakfast After the Bell – the establishment breakfast after the bell programs in high need schools, defined as those with more than 70% of students receiving free or reduced fee lunches

The results of the 2014 issues online survey indicate that families and staff in the Issaquah School District placed Creating Positive School Climates, Funding McCleary, and Breakfast After the Bell among their top five priorities as well (increasing playground safety and apportioning a set percentage of new revenue growth to education also garnered top votes by members of our district).

To make sure your voice is heard, consider joining in Olympia with other PTA advocates from across the state for the WSPTA’s annual Legislative Focus Day on Monday, January 19, 2015!

For more information, contact Sunny Hills Advocacy Director, Kym Clayton, or go to http://www.wastatepta.org/meetings/leg_assembly/index.html 

 

Eye on Washington (Olympia)

FY2015 officially begins October 1, 2014, with the FY2014 budget set to expire on September 30. Last week, to prevent another government shutdown, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that extends funding levels through December 11.  The Senate roll call vote can be found here and the House vote here.

A large portion of the 2015 legislative session will be focused on education, as the Washington State Supreme Court found the state to be in contempt of court in the McCleary school funding case. The McCleary case was decided in 2012, when the Supreme Court unanimously found that the state is not meeting its “paramount duty” under the state constitution to amply fund public education. Recent estimates indicate that the current gap between what the state funds and what is required to comply with the McCleary decision is more than $6 billion.  Click here for more WSPTA PTA Advocacy Updates  
 
 

Eye on Washington (The Other One in DC)

 
Current Bills and National PTA's Position:
  • Federal - S 1086-  Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013   NPTA Position:  Support

  • Federal - HR 2706LEARN Act   NPTA Position:  Support

  • Federal - S 758- LEARN Act   NPTA Position:  Support

  • Federal - HR 3481- Do Not Track Kids Act of 2013   NPTA Position:  Support

 
National PTA Advocacy Updates