See below for information from National PTA partner Office Depot regarding the upcoming Missouri Tax Free Weekend.
Click below for information from Susan Rupert, Missouri PTA President, regarding updates to our Suggested Unit and Council bylaws that will give Executive Boards and Committees the ability to continue on with the business of PTA during the event of federal, state, or local government State of Emergencies.
“Missouri PTA supports and charges all of our PTA members to work in collaboration with National PTA to “eliminate racism and social injustices”. We must unite as a PTA community to continue our advocating for ALL children, regardless of skin color, race, language or culture.” – Steven Cook, Missouri PTA Diversity Outreach & Engagement Chair
National PTA Adopts Position Statement on Addressing Institutional Racism
As National PTA stands firmly against racism in all forms and the culture of oppression that permeates the United States, the association’s Board of Directors recently adopted a position statement on addressing institutional racism. The statement reaffirms National PTA’s commitment to listen, educate and advocate beyond rhetoric and rise to correct all inequities and injustices.
“As an association that represents all children and families, it is our duty to disrupt the systems that propagate institutional racism,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “Our efforts will be intentional, purposeful and relentless until every person enjoys the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans.”
As outlined in the position statement, National PTA will hold courageous conversations with its membership and communities to understand the impact of institutional racism and how it affects the well-being of children of color. These conversations will include racism, social justice, equitable education, juvenile justice, affordable housing, food sustainability, economic wealth and affordable health care for families of color.
National PTA and its constituent associations will also educate themselves and their communities on the disparities among students of color compared to their white peers related to issues such as housing, healthcare, environmental and community planning, criminal justice and employment. This knowledge is essential to understand the impact of institutional racism on school performance, which is manifested in attendance, discipline, academic achievement and graduation rates of students of color.
As also included in the position statement, National PTA and its constituent associations will advocate at all levels to eradicate the negative impact of institutional racism. National PTA will also work to ensure more comprehensive guidelines and training are required on the use of force by school resource officers, other law enforcement officers and security personnel.
National PTA strongly urges federal, state and local public officials to invest in educating students and teachers on the history and impact of institutional racism. Professional development and training must be provided for all school staff on implicit bias and culturally appropriate curriculum. School staff should also be provided professional development in mental health, trauma-informed care and restorative justice to provide a safe, inclusive environment for all students.
National PTA also urges federal and state policymakers, school district leaders, school administrators and educators to review bias in curriculum, policies, practices and programs to identify and address those that perpetuate inequities toward children or communities of color, resulting in Black and Brown students experiencing lower school achievement rates.
“We can eliminate racism and social injustices when we unite as a community, regardless of skin color, race, language or culture,” said Anna King, National PTA president-elect. “PTA reaffirms our commitment to advocate for all children—including and specifically for Black and Brown children—to eliminate the negative impacts of institutional racism and ensure they have every opportunity to reach their full potential.”
In addition to the position statement on addressing institutional racism, the National PTA Board of Directors also adopted position statements in June on Harmful Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Change Efforts, Career and Technical Education, Improving School Meal Programs and Furniture Tip-Over Prevention.
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_ !
For months, we have been calling on Congress to provide more emergency funding to K-12 public schools to help address challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources are even more critical now as schools are working to plan and prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, and especially for them to safely reopen for in-person instruction. We cannot wait any longer. For many districts and schools, the new school year begins in just a few, short weeks. Congress must take action and provide these vital resources immediately.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and we cannot downplay the critical nature of the virus. The number one priority of all parents is the health and safety of their children, and it is essential that students return to school in the safest way possible. There cannot be a one-size fits all process for the reopening of schools. Plans for reopening must account for the current impact of the virus on individual communities; follow guidance from health practitioners, infectious disease doctors and public health experts; and include input from parents, families, students, educators and school employees.
“National PTA is calling on Congress to immediately provide more resources for public schools to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19 and to address the health, safety, infrastructure and physical, psychological, social and emotional needs of students, educators and staff. Our association is also urging Congress to provide dedicated resources to connect students to the internet; emergency funding for family engagement; funding for students with disabilities through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and to increase funding for child nutrition programs to prevent, prepare for and respond to food insecurities related to the pandemic and help schools adapt to new food service and meal protocols as students go back to school.
“It is also critical that Congress in no way attach incentives or conditions on federal funds for the physical reopening of schools or create voucher programs or other mechanisms to funnel public dollars to private schools in the next COVID-19 relief package. Children are the future of our nation, and we must keep them safe. Decisions on how to reopen schools must be based on what is best and safest for children and educators in individual communities. Our public schools are already woefully under-resourced, and they should not have to compromise students’ health and safety to get the funding they need to help every child learn, grow and reach their fullest potential.
“National PTA remains committed to advocating to safeguard the health and safety of our nation’s children and make sure students, families and schools have what they need during this challenging time.”
As part of its effort to advocate for and support students, families, educators and schools amid the pandemic, National PTA is joining other education groups this evening on a webinar about the impact of COVID-19 on children and how we can help mitigate risks for transmission in schools. The webinar will feature physicians from the Infectious Disease Society of America and will take place beginning at 7 p.m. EDT. To register, visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NThhMubYR9Sa4Ucdzl6S1Q.