JC/DC Action Alert Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Dear JC/DC members,

The U.S. Department of Education is tasked with implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Part of its role in implementation is issuing proposed regulations and rules, guidance, technical assistance and other resource materials to support state education agencies and school districts in implementing the law.

 

A letter from National PTA addresses the Department’s request for comments on proposed regulations on ESSA for state plans, accountability systems and state and local report cards. The Department has requested feedback from interested stakeholders by Monday, August 1, 2016. National PTA submitted its comments on Friday, July 22.

 

As an individual PTA member and leader, we encourage you to submit a condensed version of the letter (there is a character limit when using the advocacy platform) through National PTA’s Take Action Network by the August 1 deadline if you would like to do so. National PTA has already provided the letter so all you will have to do is enter your contact information when you use the link above.

Carla Wiese

VP and Director of Legislation and Advocacy

Missouri PTA

 


JC/DC Action Alert: Veto SB590

JC/DC ACTION ALERT:  Veto SB590

Governor Nixon should veto SB 590 , a bill the Missouri legislature recently passed to address sentences for children under 18 convicted of homicide crimes.  Because of recent United States Supreme Court cases, existing Missouri law was unconstitutional and the Missouri Supreme Court created a temporary solution until the Missouri legislature acted.  Advocates, including the Missouri PTA, had been working closely with legislators to support HB 1995, a bill that would have given all children a chance at review by the parole board.  While HB 1995 wouldn’t guarantee release to anyone, it recognized that children should be treated differently in the adult criminal justice system and that no child should be sentenced to die in prison.  Despite these ongoing discussions, in the last two days of the legislative session, several legislators had rushed, closed-door negotiations and passed SB 590 without consulting any advocates.  This bill allows for life-without-parole sentences for children under 18 and sentences them to harsh mandatory minimums.  Governor Nixon should veto SB 590 because it’s harmful to Missouri’s children and is out of line with adolescent brain development research, which demonstrates that children can be rehabilitated.  SB 590 moves in the opposite direction of national trends that acknowledge children deserve second chances and will likely be challenged as unconstitutional.

Dear Governor Nixon,

Governor Nixon, please veto SB 590.  On behalf of the Missouri PTA, we believe that all children have the potential to grow and change.  No child should be sentenced to die in prison without any opportunity for review.  After historically being considered a leader in juvenile justice, SB 590 would make Missouri lag behind our neighbors in Iowa, Kansas, and Kentucky and states like Texas and West Virginia.  As every parent and teacher knows, teenagers make mistakes, some of which are devastating, but these mistakes shouldn’t condemn them to a life in prison without any hope.  Thank you for vetoing SB 590.

Sincerely,

You name and PTA

You can contact Governor Nixon through this page.


URGENT National PTA, “PTA Takes Action” Action Alert

Unfortunately, the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program was NOT funded in the Senate Labor, HHS & Education (LHHS-ED) FY2017 subcommittee appropriations bill today. Call your senator to tell him/her to fund the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) in Fiscal Year 2017. Some of you may have called your senator earlier this week but we need you to call again!

The full Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on Thursday, June 9 to fund education programs.

Before 5pm on Wednesday, June 8, call your senator and tell him/her to support funding for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) grant program to make sure families are equal partners in their child’s education!

President Barack Obama (US)
(202) 456-1111 (Capitol)

Vice President Joe Biden (US)
(202) 456-1111 (Capitol)

Senator Claire McCaskill (MO)
(202) 224-6154 (Capitol)
(314) 367-1364 (District)

Senator Roy Blunt (MO)
(202) 224-5721 (Capitol)
(816) 471-7141 (District)

Representative Emanuel Cleaver (MO-005)
(202) 225-4535 (Capitol)
(816) 842-4545 (District)

Background:
The SFEC program was included in Title IV, Part E of Every Student Succeeds Act of 2016—the new education law replacing No Child Left Behind. SFECs are designed to build capacity for states and school districts to systematically embed family engagement policies and practices in schools. The SFEC program will provide much needed professional development for educators and school leaders to strengthen school-family partnerships and parent-teacher relationships.

Talking points to use when contacting your Senator:

  • Provide your name and title/role with PTA
  • Ask your senator to ensure there is funding for Statewide Family Engagement Centers in the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for FY 2017.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) authorized this important program at $10 million.
  • 86 national and state organizations support funding this program at its authorized level of $10 million.
  • Say “As a constituent, parent and advocate, I know the importance of family engagement in schools. Will the senator support investing in this critical program in the final bill?”

If they ask or you would like to expand upon the importance of funding SFECs, below are a few additional talking points that you could use:

  • Over 40 years of research shows that family engagement is critical for student success. Students with engaged families attend school more regularly, earn better grades, enroll in advanced-level courses and have higher graduation rates.
  • Teachers are also more likely to remain in schools where families are involved and they can develop trusting relationships to help students and families succeed.
  • An investment in SFECs and family engagement is important to ensuring not only that families are meaningfully supported and engaged in the education of their children, but that our nation’s students are fully prepared for higher education, workforce and career opportunities in the 21st century.

Urgent Call to action! Improve Family Engagement in Your Child’s School


National PTA Action Alert June 3rd, 2016

We need your help to improve family engagement opportunities and practices at your child’s school! Call your senator to tell him/her to fund the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) in Fiscal Year 2017. The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee is voting on Tuesday, June 7 to fund education programs.

Before 5pm on Monday, June 6, call your senator and tell them to support funding for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) grant program to make sure families are equal partners in their child’s education!

President Barack Obama (US)
(202) 456-1111 (Capitol)

Vice President Joe Biden (US)
(202) 456-1111 (Capitol)

Senator Claire McCaskill (MO)
(202) 224-6154 (Capitol)
(314) 367-1364 (District)

Senator Roy Blunt (MO)
(202) 224-5721 (Capitol)
(816) 471-7141 (District)

Representative Emanuel Cleaver (MO-005)
(202) 225-4535 (Capitol)
(816) 842-4545 (District)

Background:
The SFEC program was included in Title IV, Part E of Every Student Succeeds Act of 2016—the new education law replacing No Child Left Behind. SFECs are designed to build capacity for states and school districts to systematically embed family engagement policies and practices in schools. The SFEC program will provide much needed professional development for educators and school leaders to strengthen school-family partnerships and parent-teacher relationships.

Talking points to use when contacting your Senator:

  • Provide your name and title/role with PTA
  • Ask your senator to ensure there is funding for Statewide Family Engagement Centers in the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for FY 2017.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) authorized this important program at $10 million.
  • As a constituent, parent and advocate, I know the importance of family engagement in schools. Will the senator support investing in this critical program in the final bill?

If they ask or you would like to expand upon the importance of funding SFECs, below are a few additional talking points that you could use:

  • Over 40 years of research shows that family engagement is critical for student success. Students with engaged families attend school more regularly, earn better grades, enroll in advanced-level courses and have higher graduation rates.
  • Teachers are also more likely to remain in schools where families are involved and they can develop trusting relationships to help students and families succeed.
  • An investment in SFECs and family engagement is important to ensuring not only that families are meaningfully supported and engaged in the education of their children, but that our nation’s students are fully prepared for higher education, workforce and career opportunities in the 21st century.

JC/DC ACTION ALERT: Powdered Alcohol

****VOTE TODAY*** Please contact your Senators now!

HB1786 has been placed on the Senate calendar.

HB 1786 would ban the sale of powered alcohol in the state of Missouri.

Powdered Alcohol is a particular concern for PTA because underage drinking creates and environment that can be extremely dangerous to children.  Because of the potential for abuse, powdered alcohol has been banned in more than 27 states.

Dear Senator,

As a community we prioritize safety with regard to our kids. We have laws that require young children be restrained in car seats.  Medicines must be sold in childproof containers.  We encourage classes on fire safety.  And our schools and communities work hard to raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking.  Powdered Alcohol has a high potential for abuse creating a dangerous environment for children. 

 Powdered Alcohol is not “freeze-dried alcohol” but rather ethyl alcohol encapsulated by a sugar container.  It can be easily concealed, sprinkled onto food products, taken as a pill, snorted, injected and mixed with other alcohol and drugs such as cocaine and marijuana making it even more potent and inhibiting the user’s ability to fight off alcohol poisoning. 

Help keep our children safe from such harmful products.  Please support HB 1786 by voting yes.

Sincerely,

You name and PTA

Not sure how to contact your state legislators? Click here and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.


Carla Wiese

Vice President & Director of Legislation

carlaw@mopta.org