In July, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee that works on education funding and the full House Appropriations Committee both approved an education funding bill that would cut education spending by $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2018. The House education funding bill is expected to move to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote in September. The U.S. Senate has not released a draft of their education funding bill, but is expected to in September.
The Teachers and Parents at the Table Act would create two committees made up of teachers, parents and family members to advise the Secretary of Education, report to Congress on family engagement in education and offer guidance for state and local education leaders to improve family engagement policies in schools.
Members of Congress are heading home for their annual August recess. This is a great opportunity for your PTA to host site visits with your elected officials so they can see what your local PTA is doing for the schools in their district.
Not sure how to plan an event with your member of Congress? No problem! Check out National PTA’s Hosting a Site Visit for a Member of Congress resource.
National PTA’s advocates of the month are the members of the Alachua County Council (ACC) of PTAs. ACC PTA President Khanh-Lien Banko and ACC PTA Advocacy Chair Rik McNeill, advocacy chair, recently wrote an Op-Ed in the Gainesville Sun, highlighting the important role that PTAs and members play in advocating on behalf of students and families.
They are working to organize forums and school-based meetings to inform families and school communities about the impact of a new, wide-sweeping education bill that was recently passed in Florida. Learn more about ACC PTA at ACCPTA.org and Facebook.com/theACCPTA.
Trainings and Resources
Save the Date! Join Us For …
Webinar: What Makes a Good ESSA Report Card?
Tuesday, August 8, 4:00 p.m. EDT
Join National PTA and Learning Heroes for a webinar to learn how school, district and state report cards required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) equip parents to make better decisions concerning their children’s educational opportunities and become more effective advocates. Register now!
PTA Live! Federal Funding for Low-Income Students
Friday, August 11, 3:00 p.m. EDT
As part of our #STOPCutsToClassrooms campaign, this PTA Live will discuss how federal funding for low-income students (also known as Title I funding) is used in schools and the need for greater investments in education.
PTA Live! Federal Funding for Students with Disabilities
Friday, August 18, 3:00 p.m. EDT
As part of our #STOPCutsToClassrooms campaign, this PTA Live will discuss how federal funding for students with disabilities through the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) is used in schools.
All parents should be able to use results on tests to help improve their child’s learning and advocate for sound assessment practices. Use the following resources to ensure parents at your school are empowered to take an active role in advocating for sound assessment practices, not only for their children, but for every child.
- National PTA: Assessments
- CCSSO: NCSA 2017 Conference Resources
- Achieve: Assessments
- Michigan Assessment Consortium: Assessment Literacy Standards
- The Assessment Learning Network: Learning Points
- Assessment Literacy—Making Sense of K-12 Assessment for Learning: Different Assessment Types
- Sage Publication: Balanced Assessment Systems: Leadership, Quality and the Role of Classroom Assessment
School Based Opportunities
The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) is a congressional initiative to encourage student engagement in coding and computer science through local app challenges hosted by the Members of Congress. The CAC aims to bridge the gender, geographic and racial gaps in tech.
During the next 14 weeks, thousands of students in participating Congressional districts will create and submit their own original applications, that will be evaluated by panels of local judges. To get involved or for more info, visit CongressionalAppChallenge.us.