National PTA Releases Two NEW ESSA Resources and Social Media Toolkit

PTA Leaders,

We are pleased to share with you two new resources on local implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  These two documents will live on our webpage. We hope you find them useful!

ESSA provides a unique opportunity for parents and families to give input on their children’s educational experience, and strengthen parent are family engagement.  As school districts and schools implement this new federal education law to improve outcomes for every student, National PTA believes parents should have a seat at the table when decisions are made—and districts and schools should work with parents and families as partners throughout the school year.

The first document, The Parent and Family Guide to Local Implementation of ESSA explains what to expect as the law is implemented in your community. The second one, What to Ask Your District and School Leaders About ESSAprovides questions to ask your district and school leaders as you take your seat at the table as an essential partner in education.

Additionally, we have created a social media toolkit for you to use to help promote these two resources throughout your networks. National PTA will be promoting these two new resources over the next few weeks and we greatly appreciate you sharing these as well and retweeting and reposting National PTA’s social.

You are find the direct links here:

The Parent and Family Guide to Local Implementation of ESSA

What to Ask Your District and School Leaders About ESSA

Thank you for your continued advocacy!

Jacki Ball | Director, Government Affairs
National PTA®
1250 N. Pitt Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
P: (703) 518-1243 | C: (703) 405-5206 | | @balljacki

JCDC Alert: Tell the IRS to Protect Public Education!

Attention ALL Missouri PTA Advocates!  Please contact the IRS today and ask them to support and protect Public Education and refrain from utilizing the proposed tax loophole.  This regulation creates a special circumstance benefitting private schools through a tax shelter for donations to private schools.
We need ALL of our advocates to TAKE ACTION by clicking the button below and submitting your requests to the IRS.  It takes 2 minutes to be a part of our PTA voice, supporting public schools and public education!  Please share with your social media followers and tag @MissouriPTA in your posts.
Thank you for speaking for our children!
Your fellow advocate,
Kristina Wilmoth, VP Legislation & Advocacy
Missouri PTA
#PTATakesAction #JCDC #JCDCActionAlert #MOPTA #SupportPublicSchools
Dear Education Advocate,

For many years a tax loophole has permitted taxpayers to profit by financially supporting private school voucher programs. This profitable tax shelter has fueled rapid growth in these voucher programs, leading to a major transfer of public dollars into private schools. Moreover, these profits come at the expense of state and federal budgets and do not find their way into public schools or public services.

The IRS has proposed regulations that would shut down this tax shelter and could significantly weaken the popularity and growth of these voucher programs. However, private school choice advocates have been flooding the IRS regulations comment section asking that the IRS maintain this tax shelter by providing a special exemption for private school tuition tax credits that will allow them to continue to receive a federal tax credit for donating to private schools.

We need your help to tell the IRS not to create a special carveout in these regulations for donations to private schools.  All you need to do is click on the “Take Action” button below to submit a comment to the IRS. Thank you for your continued support for public schools.

Thank you,
National PTA

#18in18 – The Hashtag That Took Missouri By Storm

We all want our voice to be heard and being a member of the Missouri Parent Teacher Association gives each of us a voice that is 44,000 strong. This is the story about an idea that evolved into a movement in less than six months. This is the story about a student who became a voice to create change. This is the story of #18in18.

2017 was an eventful year in Missouri, but 2018 offered a chance for Missouri to further its reputation as a leader in juvenile justice. SB 793, also known as Raise the Age Missouri, broke through the cloud covering our capital city and offered a ray of sunshine that brought excitement and strength to a grassroots cause.

Missouri PTA has been a proud member of the Raise the Age Coalition, but it was at a meeting with our partners that campaign plans began with a focus on the use of student members to promote and bring awareness. Raise the Age SB793 could propel Missouri forward to match 44 other states with similar laws protecting minors from being prosecuted as adults and serving time in adult facilities. Without this piece of legislation, a child as young as nine (9) years old could be housed with an adult offender in the same cell.

“Youth housed in adult jails are four times more likely to commit suicide than youth in juvenile detention. Youth in adult prisons face high risks of violence and sexual assault, and they often spend up to 23 hours every day in solitary confinement, leading to physical and psychological harm.” – Raise the Age Missouri

Missouri PTA members found this gap in our state’s justice system to be reprehensible and its members chose to be part of the solution. The Missouri PTA Legislation and Advocacy Department utilized one of our most valuable assets, our Student Representatives, and brainstormed ideas to get involved and support this vital piece of legislation. Will Wiese, former Student Representative and current Advocacy Chair for MO PTA, proposed a social media campaign. The campaign was discussed with the coalition, and #18in18 was mutually agreed upon. The grassroots movement that began as a conversation quickly grew, and by the end of 2017, there were hundreds of #18in18 social media posts from school officials to students. The tagline: Because 17 is too young was also trending.

Parents were sharing stories of shock and horror as they imagined their young children in this vulnerable situation. Educators and community advocates publicly supported Raise the Age Missouri, passionately pleading with their communities to take a stand with them. Missouri’s students and youth spoke up and shared the social media posts and news articles, creating even more buzz.  

By the time Missouri PTA representatives attended the National PTA Legislative Conference in March 2018, #18in18 had reached advocates nation-wide, bringing attention to the large impact of a simple campaign.

On May 10, 2018, SB 793 was truly agreed upon and passed by a nearly unanimous vote. On May 30th, 2018, it was signed by both the Senate President Pro Tem and the House Speaker and delivered to the Governor’s desk. On June 1, 2018, less than 6 months after the bill was prefiled, SB 793 – Raise the Age Missouri- was signed by the Governor.

We all want our voices to be heard. This is the story with a happy ending because we spoke up, spoke loudly, and became part of the change that now protects Missouri’s children and their future.

Kristina Wilmoth
Vice President and Director of Legislation & Advocacy
Missouri PTA