National PTA Action on Robb Elementary School Shooting

National PTA President Anna King and Texas PTA President Suzi Kennon issued the following statement on the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas:

“We are disgusted that 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school today, yet again from gun violence. These precious lives were senselessly taken before they even had a chance to reach their full potential. Allowing these incidents to continue is unacceptable. We demand Congress immediately adopt measures that ensure our children are protected from harm. It’s past time to take action to protect the lives of our children and families.

We urge everyone to join us for our upcoming Hill Day Experience to amplify your voice with your federal representatives on community safety and youth violence prevention. For those in need of mental health support during this time, free resources are available at PTA.org/HealthyMinds.”


National PTA Reflections Awards Announced

National PTA has released the names of those students that are being recognized at the national level of the Reflections Program this year. Missouri PTA is proud to announce that two students from Missouri have received the National PTA Award of Excellence for their interpretation of the “I Will Change the World By” theme.  Please join us as we congratulate:

Lillia Roberson of Voy Spears Jr. Elementary PTA in Blue Springs for being recognized for her entry in Primary Music Composition, “I Can Make a Difference – 3Rs”.

Alyssa Hakan of Central High School PTSA in Springfield for being recognized for her entry “Earth Dance” in High School Dance Choreography.

As Award of Excellence recipients these students will receive a $200 Young Artist Scholarship, a Silver Medal and a Certificate of Excellence from National PTA.  Their work will also be featured in the traveling exhibition.


National PTA Applauds Biden Administration’s Action on Ghost Guns

On Monday, President Joe Biden announced a new regulation meant to address the proliferation of “ghost guns”—homemade or improvised firearms that lack commercial serial numbers and are unregulated and untraceable. National PTA President Anna King issued the following statement on the new regulation:

“For years, National PTA and PTA members nationwide have advocated for sensible gun safety and violence prevention policies that will help keep children safe, including banning the sale of ghost guns. The use of ghost guns has increased ten-fold from 2016, including in school shootings. Our association applauds the Biden Administration for taking action with a policy that will save lives. This regulation is an important step in addressing the gun violence epidemic our country has endured for far too long.

“In addition to banning the sale of ghost guns, National PTA supports federal restrictions on firearms that would:

  • Require knowledge of appropriate firearms use and safety practices, including safe gun and ammunition storage.
  • Require a waiting period and comprehensive background check for all individuals prior to purchasing a firearm to screen out illegal firearm purchasers.
  • Restrict internet gun sales, including kits that can be used to make and modify guns.
  • Tighten enforcement of laws on straw purchases of weapons, and institute some limits on how many guns can be purchased in a month.
  • Institute a background check for ammunition purchases.
  • Ban bump stocks, military-style semi-automatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines.

“Our association also believes policies and legislation must include but not be limited to:

  • Fund research on the causes and effects of gun violence on youth and communities, as well as evidence-based strategies to reduce gun violence.
  • Establish education programs to teach students, parents and community members about gun safety and violence prevention.
  • Fund research of ‘Smart guns’ that fire only after a fingerprint or a PIN is entered, or if used near a particular bracelet.

“While the regulation on ghost guns is a step in the right direction, common-sense legislation must be enacted immediately to help protect our nation’s families. Just on Tuesday, at least 10 people were injured by gunfire in the subway in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“This crisis is destroying our communities, and National PTA and PTAs nationwide remain committed to calling on Congress to implement policies that will prevent more tragedies from occurring. It is a top priority of our association to prevent and eliminate gun violence, promote the safety and well-being of all children, and ensure every child has every opportunity to reach their full potential.”


National PTA Applauds President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Proposal

National PTA is pleased to see the Administration’s FY23 budget proposal addresses long-standing educational inequities that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as supports whole child learning and development. The proposal includes more than double the funding for Title I, which assists schools serving low-income families, and increases funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)—the largest funding increases in two decades. It also includes $1 billion in funding for school-based mental health supports and services in addition to increased investments in full-service community schools, which play a critical role in providing comprehensive wraparound services to students and their families.

Our association has continuously advocated for improved mental health programs and services for children and families, including access to school and community-based mental health personnel and services. During final FY22 budget negotiations, we mobilized in support of the $1 billion request. We are grateful for President Biden’s inclusion of this crucial ask in his FY23 budget proposal as an urge to Congress and a signal to advocates nationwide that we must come together as a nation to address the mental health crisis facing our youth. Robust and equitable investments in our public education system as well as solutions to ensure the needs of the whole child are met are essential to make sure all children can begin to recover from this pandemic and reach their fullest potential.

Our association also appreciates the continued investments included in the proposal for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program, which provides much-needed technical assistance and partnership development to states and school districts to foster meaningful family engagement. We will continue to advocate for greater investments in the program to ensure all families nationwide have access to the program.

The long-term success of our nation depends on all children having access to a fair, equitable, high-quality education and having their social, emotional and mental health needs met. We stand ready to work with the Administration and Congress to make sure the vital investments included in the budget proposal become a reality. We urge everyone to join us in our efforts—and particularly for our upcoming Hill Day Experience as part of our 125th Anniversary Convention—as we are louder and stronger together.


National PTA’s 125th Anniversary Convention Hill Day Experience

Thank you for urging your member of Congress to prioritize youth suicide prevention and vote for the Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention Act of 2021 (STANDUP Act)! The bipartisan bill has officially been signed into law!

The STANDUP Act is the first federal legislation to provide uniform research-based suicide prevention and awareness standards in schools to address the mental health needs of all students. Signing this bill into law was crucial since our country is currently witnessing soaring rates of mental health challenges amongst our children and youth, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was only possible because of your participation!

Make sure to join us for National PTA’s 125th Anniversary Convention Hill Day Experience to celebrate advocacy, legacy and impact! This milestone event is a time to connect with PTA leaders, educators and parents to ignite your outreach and impact in your school’s community to make a difference for every child. Don’t miss the chance to expand your knowledge of the ins and outs of federal law, grow your advocacy skills, and explore PTA’s legislative priorities for PTA. To register today click here.


National PTA Statement on FY2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Last week Congress passed and now President Biden has signed into law the final spending package that funds federal programs and services through September 2022. National PTA President Anna King issued the following statement on the bill:

“National PTA is pleased that the omnibus includes an increase of $2.3 billion in funding for U.S. Department of Education programs and an increase of $11.3 billion for Health and Human Services programs. Among the Department of Education programs, the bill includes an increase of $1 billion for Title I to assist schools serving low-income families and an increase of $406 million for the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The bill also includes an increase of $2.5 million over the fiscal year 2021 level for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program which provides much-needed technical assistance and partnership development to states and school districts to foster meaningful engagement. Additionally, the bill includes an increase of $60 million for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (Title IV-A) and $111 million for programs designed to increase the availability of mental health services in schools, including by expanding training programs to prepare new school counselors, social workers and psychologists. These increases are important steps to addressing the mental health crisis facing our children and families, supporting students most in need, and helping ensure children learn in healthy and safe environments and receive a well-rounded education.

“In addition to the increases for education programs, National PTA supports the inclusion of $50 million for a Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative through the U.S. Department of Justice and applauds the inclusion of $1 million that may be used for the National Institute of Justice to continue to develop a model and best practices for comprehensive school safety, including identifying the root causes of violence in schools. However, we are disappointed the bill does not include an investment in public health approaches to reducing community violence and trauma by funding Community Violence Intervention research and data through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) specifically. Community-driven, evidence-based interventions are critical to addressing the gun and school safety epidemic we continue to face as a country, and we will continue to advocate for the vital role CDC can and should play in this work.

“We are also disappointed that the bill does not include an extension of authority to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue critical school meal administrative waivers that have been in place throughout the pandemic, allowing schools for the first time to serve free meals to all students regardless of income. The flexibility has allowed an additional 10 million students to eat free meals at school each day. We know that students cannot learn without adequate nutrition, and no child should have to go hungry.

“National PTA commends Congress and the Administration for coming together and reaching a bipartisan agreement that increases federal funding for education and health and human services programs. While the increases are positive, federal funding for education programs in FY22 will still be almost $6 billion below the 2011 level. National PTA remains committed to advocating to make sure every child has the opportunities and supports they need to thrive in school and reach their fullest potential. We urge everyone to join us in our efforts—and particularly for our upcoming Hill Day Experience as part of our 125th Anniversary Convention—as we are louder and stronger together.”


National PTA and Iowa PTA Stand with Families, Students and Teachers in Iowa

On Monday afternoon, a shooting occurred outside a high school in Des Moines, Iowa, leaving one student dead and two students in critical condition. This past weekend, several tornadoes also touched down near Des Moines, killing seven people—including two children—and impacting dozens of homes and families.

Both events were unexpected and extremely tragic, and we cannot imagine how horrifying they were for everyone involved. Our association stands with those impacted and is committed to supporting their well-being as they recover.

According to a CNN tally, the incident yesterday afternoon is at least the 13th shooting at a campus with K-12 students in 2022. As we have said so many times, school should be a safe place, and we are well beyond enough is enough. While we cannot prevent tornadoes, there are gun safety and violence prevention policies that will make our schools and communities safer for everyone and save lives. Our association also remains committed to urging Congress to address the gun and school safety epidemic we continue to face as a country. Action must be taken immediately to protect our students, families, educators and staff, and we must work together to support all children and help them resolve problems in a positive and productive manner.

For 125 years, PTA has empowered families with knowledge, tools and resources and helped families, schools and communities navigate challenges. For those in need of mental health support during this time, free resources are available at PTA.org/HealthyMinds.

-National PTA President Anna King and Iowa PTA President Janel McGovern


JC/DC ACTION ALERT: Open Enrollment in Missouri Public Education

**FULL HOUSE VOTE THURSDAY**

 

Missouri PTA needs you to contact your Representatives now and ask your Representative to VOTE NO on HB1814 Open Enrollment Bill

 

Missouri PTA is opposed to HB1814

 

House Bill 1814 creates open enrollment throughout Missouri and it will have a final House vote Thursday.

Missouri PTA is concerned about this bill’s negative impact on school consolidation, special education and school finances. PTA believes that any changes in school structure or funding should be measured by the likely outcomes for all children in accord with the obligation to prepare all children to become effective, productive adult citizens.

Missouri PTA advocates are called upon to ensure your Representatives understand that you are paying attention and that these issues are important to you!

ACTION NEEDED: PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL and urge your State Representative to oppose HB1814 

MOPTA Advocates are invited to utilize the letter below to guide your calls, emails, and social media contact with your lawmaker(s).

Dear Representative,

I am writing today to add my voice with the dozens of parents and educators who express opposition to HB1814.  

The open enrollment policy created in this bill will harm Missouri students, schools, and communities.  This legislation could lead to school consolidation across the state making it more difficult to serve Missouri’s most vulnerable students.  It will also lead to many districts struggling to maintain educational programs they offer such as choir, band, and athletic programs.

Missouri PTA and other public school advocates are opposed to bills that will pit school districts against each other to compete for students and the funds associated with them. Funding that would normally go toward student learning would be spent on recruiting and competing with neighboring districts.

HB1814 allows districts that engage in open enrollment to discriminate against special education students, denying their participation in the program based on their needs.

The focus should be on supporting and improving our schools and all populations rather than tearing them apart. The focus needs to turn to supporting and building stronger schools in each of our communities. Each community is unique and to say that open enrollment would benefit all students is misleading and grossly misunderstood. However, the impact will be felt by all due to the financial hardship it will cause for districts.

I strongly encourage you to oppose HB1814 and vote against this legislation. 

Sincerely,

Your Name and PTA

Not sure how to contact your legislators? Click Here and enter your street address or zip code. 

 

Paula McKinney
Vice President of Legislation and Advocacy 
Missouri PTA

Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy

paulam@mopta.org


JC/DC ACTION ALERT: Open Enrollment in Missouri Public Education

Missouri PTA needs you to contact your Representatives now and ask your Representative to VOTE NO on HB1814 Open Enrollment Bill

 

Missouri PTA is opposed to HB1814

 

House Bill 1814 creates open enrollment throughout Missouri and it could be heard in the House as soon as Monday.

Missouri PTA is concerned about this bill’s negative impact on school consolidation, special education and school finances. PTA believes that any changes in school structure or funding should be measured by the likely outcomes for all children in accord with the obligation to prepare all children to become effective, productive adult citizens.

Missouri PTA advocates are called upon to ensure your Representatives understand that you are paying attention and that these issues are important to you!

ACTION NEEDED: PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL and urge your State Representative to oppose HB1814 

MOPTA Advocates are invited to utilize the letter below to guide your calls, emails, and social media contact with your lawmaker(s).

Dear Representative,

I am writing today to add my voice with the dozens of parents and educators who express opposition to HB1814.  

The open enrollment policy created in this bill will harm Missouri students, schools, and communities.  This legislation could lead to school consolidation across the state making it more difficult to serve Missouri’s most vulnerable students.  It will also lead to many districts struggling to maintain educational programs they offer such as choir, band, and athletic programs.

Missouri PTA and other public school advocates are opposed to bills that will pit school districts against each other to compete for students and the funds associated with them. Funding that would normally go toward student learning would be spent on recruiting and competing with neighboring districts.

HB1814 allows districts that engage in open enrollment to discriminate against special education students, denying their participation in the program based on their needs.

The focus should be on supporting and improving our schools and all populations rather than tearing them apart. The focus needs to turn to supporting and building stronger schools in each of our communities. Each community is unique and to say that open enrollment would benefit all students is misleading and grossly misunderstood. However, the impact will be felt by all due to the financial hardship it will cause for districts.

I strongly encourage you to oppose HB1814 and vote against this legislation. 

Sincerely,

Your Name and PTA

Not sure how to contact your legislators? Click Here and enter your street address or zip code. 

Paula McKinney
Vice President of Legislation and Advocacy 
Missouri PTA

Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy

paulam@mopta.org

 


National PTA Celebrates Historic 125th Anniversary

Today, National PTA is celebrating 125 years of advocacy, legacy and impact. The association was founded on Feb. 17, 1897, “to make the nation recognize the importance of every child.” This mission continues today through the association’s steadfast commitment to being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and a strong advocate for public education.

“125 years ago, our founders saw beyond the status quo of their day, recognized the value of the parent perspective, and took action to change the world for all children,” said Anna King, president of National PTA. “Today, we carry on their legacy and take their dreams into the future by uplifting the voices of all families, supporting our nation’s teachers and schools, and ensuring every child has everything they need to make their potential a reality.”

“Since our founding in 1897, PTA members and leaders have taken direct action every day to improve the education, health, safety and well-being of every child and give our children, families and school communities what they need to thrive. PTA has changed the course of our nation’s history. We are proud of our accomplishments and will use this milestone anniversary to rededicate ourselves to our work—which is more important than ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the gun and school safety epidemic, and the fight for racial justice and equity in our country,” King added.

National PTA played a vital role in historic achievements, including the establishment of public-school kindergarten, child labor laws, the federal school lunch program and more. Today, the association is fighting for safe, supportive, equitable and inclusive practices in schools for all students; solutions to gun violence; and an end to systemic racism in America, among many other issues. PTA also remains focused on empowering families with knowledge, tools and resources; encouraging families to actively engage in their children’s education; connecting and strengthening partnerships between families, teachers and schools; and helping families, schools and communities navigate challenges.

National PTA is kicking off celebrations of its 125th anniversary on Founders’ Day, in conjunction with Take Your Family to School Week. The week will mark the launch of a PTA Day of Service initiative designed to forward the association’s mission, give back to communities across the country and increase awareness of the work PTAs do every day. The association will also be celebrating its anniversary at the National PTA 125th Anniversary Convention, which will be held June 14-19 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.

“Our 125th anniversary is a special opportunity to reflect on the importance of our association’s mission, and to invite everyone to join PTA in our efforts to ensure all perspectives are heard and considered. There’s still so much work to do to make sure the needs of every child are met,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA Executive Director. “As we have since 1897, PTA will continue to be a thought leader on critical issues impacting our nation’s families, including diversity, equity and inclusion for justice; culture and communication for a new era; and transformative family-school partnerships. We are stronger together, and together, we can build a better future.”

Registration is now open for the National PTA 125th Anniversary Convention. All PTAs are also encouraged to register, plan and host a Day of Service event anytime between Feb. 17 and June 30 in celebration of the association’s milestone anniversary. The Day of Service initiative is supported by Proud National PTA Sponsors The Allstate Foundation and BAND.


National PTA and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Team Up to Reduce and Prevent Tobacco and E-Cigarette Use Among Youth

National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids announced today a new collaboration to raise awareness of and help prevent e-cigarette and other tobacco use among youth. With 3.6 million kids using e-cigarettes, including nearly 1 in 5 high school students, youth e-cigarette use is rampant, and as kids return to school in person—many for the first time in 18 months—the problem could become even more serious. Through their collaboration, National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will develop resources for PTAs across the country to educate parents and support the elimination of flavored tobacco products, which surveys show are widely used by youth.

“Since our founding, PTA has been the conscience of the country when it comes to issues that affect children and youth. Our mission is to improve the education, health, safety and well-being of children and help them reach their fullest potential,” said Anna King, president of National PTA. “This mission and our collaboration with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is more important than ever to protect our nation’s youth.”

As part of the effort and with support from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, National PTA will provide $10,000 in grant funding to local PTAs. Local PTAs will use the funding to host events for families in their school communities to help them learn about e-cigarette use among youth and what they can do to prevent their children from using e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will also provide local PTAs with resources and advocacy tools to lead anti-tobacco efforts within their communities. Further, National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will survey parents and families to collect perspectives on parent, school and community impacts and experiences with tobacco use, with a focus on vaping and flavored tobacco.

“We are thrilled to partner with National PTA to provide resources needed to educate parents and teachers about the dangers and prevalence of youth tobacco use, with a particular focus on e-cigarettes,” said Portia Reddick White, vice president of strategic partnerships at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.  “We also look forward to working with parents and teachers to advocate for the policies needed to protect kids’ health, including the elimination of flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products. As National PTA is such a trusted resource for parents, this is a unique opportunity to broaden the coalition of advocates needed to address the continuing threats to our kids from tobacco use.”

National PTA adopted a resolution on Electronic Cigarettes and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and Individuals Under 21 in 2016. National PTA and PTAs nationwide have been advocating in support of legislation, regulation and/or other national, state and local measures to address the manufacturing of and ingredients in e-cigarettes and other ENDS; to prohibit the advertising, marketing and sale of e-cigarettes and other ENDS to individuals under the age of 21; and to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes and other ENDS in public places and on school grounds. National PTA’s collaboration with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids builds on the association’s commitment to educating individuals under the age of 21, parents, school boards and local officials on the dangers of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.

“National PTA and PTAs nationwide work hard every day to solve problems facing our children, families and schools; bring knowledge, tools and resources into the everyday lives of families; raise our voices at the national, state and local levels; and make sure students are safe, healthy and have what they need to thrive,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “Addressing and protecting our nation’s youth from e-cigarette use is an important part of this work.”

 


Request Membership Card Template

Historically, Missouri PTA has ordered pre-printed membership cards to fulfill requests from units each fall. Thousands of dollars are spent annually for printing and postage. Over the years we have found that fewer and fewer units utilize the actual card. Recently we have made available a card template that allowed local units to customize with their specific unit and member information then print as needed.

As we enter the 2020-2021 membership year, your Board of Managers are working to develop a Missouri PTA Mobile App. Among its many benefits will be a digital PTA membership card. Because this will eliminate the need to distribute actual cards, pre-printed membership cards will no longer be available from the Missouri PTA Office. This will be a huge savings to both local units and Missouri PTA. For units that would like to continue passing out membership cards, the customizable template will still be available and can be requested through our website. (Click Here)

While our mission and values remain the same, the way we do PTA is evolving. In this time of uncertainty, more than ever we must continue to be a reliable and relevant resource to our members. And always _everychild. onevoice_ !