PTA Takes Action – November 4, 2017

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November 4, 2016
Congressional Update
Members of Congress have been on break in their districts and states during this busy election season. However, they will return to work in the nation’s capital Nov. 14 and with three short weeks to pass appropriations bills to fund the federal government in the next year before the deadline Dec. 9.
Tell your member of congress today to invest in Statewide Family Engagement Centers during this appropriations process to improve family engagement in schools across the country through National PTA’s Takes Action Center.
In addition to monitoring the budget bills, National PTA is closely watching the child nutrition bills and the juvenile justice reauthorization bills, which could impact school nutrition standards and school disciplinary policies in the future. Read the OneVoice blog posts below for more info on these pieces of legislation:
New Webinar: Engaging Parents and Families on ESSA
When: Wednesday, Nov. 9
Time: 3 p.m. EST
As states work to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), they are reaching out to and engaging a wide variety of community members to get feedback and input throughout the process, from planning to implementation. States are looking for new and innovative ways to engage parents and families on this important yet complex topic.
To assist, CCSSO is hosting a joint webinar with National PTA to explore key strategies states can use now and in the future to engage parents and families in meaningful ways. Join us at 3 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 9 by using the call-in information below!
Call-In Information
  • Webinar Link (Attendees are not able to preregister for this webinar)
  • Phone: 1-800-768-2983.
  • Access Code: 541 064 0#
2017 College and Career Readiness Initiative (CCRI)
National PTA will continue its important work on academic standards and assessments that began in 2009 as the “Common Core State Standards Initiative” renamed the College and Career Readiness Initiative (CCRI).
The initiative has launched grant-funded campaigns in 17 states and four local communities in partnership with state and district PTAs to educate and train PTA leaders, meet with decision makers, work with the media and build overall advocacy capacity. The work has expanded well beyond standards to ensure all students are prepared for college and career through high standards, aligned assessments, fair accountability systems and parental involvement.
As part of this grant cycle, Arkansas PTA, Georgia PTA, Michigan PTA, New Jersey PTA, West Virginia PTA and Wisconsin PTA will now be participating in the initiative.
High School Graduation Rates Reach a Record High
President Obama announced in Washington, D.C. last month that America’s high school graduation rate has reached a record new high of 83.2%.
The 2014-2015 graduation rates released last month show progress for all reported groups of students, including students of color, low-income students, students with disabilities and English learners.
Black, Hispanic and Native American students continued to narrow the gap between their graduation rates and those of their white peers, even as all groups made progress. Nearly every state across the country has seen progress since 2010-2011.
Use Social Media to Make a Difference in Congress
A study by National PTA partner  the Congressional Management Foundation, found that even one person who self-identifies as a constituent could have some influence on a member of Congress’s decisions using social media.
However, when constituents just mention that they are affiliated with a group like National PTA, the likelihood of influencing Members decisions increases.
In fact, 78% of staff reported that multiple constituents affiliated with a group would have some or a lot of influence on their boss’s decisions.
Put this research into action by sending a tweet to your member of Congress through  National PTA’s Takes Action Center or by using the sample tweet below:

Family engagement in Ed makes a difference for #EveryChild! Invest in education & #FundSFECs for FY2017! #PTATakesAction

PTA Advocate of the Month
Latha Krishnaiyer is National PTA’s November advocate of the month. She is the past president of the Florida PTA, a current PTA member in Broward County, Fl., and serves on National PTA’s Bylaws and Policy Committee and Strategic Planning Committee.
For years, Latha has led efforts in Florida to engage families and the community to advocate on ballot measures, host candidate forums and encourage greater civic engagement across the community. Latha explains the civic duty PTA members regarding elections in a One Voice guest blog.
She recently hosted a candidate forum for contested state legislative, county commission and sheriff races in partnership with Kids Voting Broward and the League of Women Voters. Latha and two students sat on the panel and asked the candidates questions on their education platforms and how to involve more families in their child’s education. The forum was later aired on a local television station. View the recording.
Ohio PTA Advocacy Day
Ohio PTA hosted an Advocacy Training Event on Oct. 22. The members attending were engaged in a discussion around education policy changes happening in Ohio.
Several workshops were presented, including two live webinars: an ESSA webinar presented by Jacki Ball of National PTA and one on Ohio’s School Report Cards by Marianne Mottley from the Ohio Department of Education.
In addition, State School Board Member Rosslyn Painter-Goffi was in attendance and interacted with attendees as part of a “Meeting with Decision-Makers” workshop. Additional presentations focused on grassroots advocacy and the use of social media.
Learn how you can host a similar advocacy training session in your state Have you hosted an advocacy day recently? Share your story with National PTA at
National Student/Parent Mock Election
Who did students elect in the National Student/Parent Mock Election?
Find out! Visit
Nominate Your Favorite PTA Advocate!
National PTA is now accepting  nominations for the 2017 Advocacy Awards! If you know of an outstanding youth or individual PTA advocates, or a local unit or state PTA that has done great advocacy work,  nominate them to receive an award for their efforts from National PTA at the 2017 Legislative Conference. You can also nominate yourself!
Award Categories:
The deadline to submit a nomination is Sunday, Dec. 18.
Save the Date! 2017 National PTA LegCon, March 7-9
Join National PTA on March 7-9, 2017 in Arlington, Va., for the 2017 National PTA Legislative Conference (LegCon). Celebrate 120 Years of Changing Children’s Lives at the 2017 LegCon, learn about the key education issues facing the new Congress and honor policy makers and PTA members whose efforts to make every child’s potential a reality.
National PTA Headquarters
1250 N. Pitt Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone: (703) 518-1200
Toll Free: (800) 307-4PTA
Fax: (703) 836-0942

1250 N. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314