Legislative Priorities

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Kansas PTA Legislative Priorities2020-04-20T15:44:00-05:00

2020 Legislative Policy & Priorities

Legislative Policy & Priorities PDF

PTA Mission and Values. The mission of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. Initiatives of the PTA are aligned with this mission and guided by five core values: collaboration, commitment, diversity, respect and accountability.

This document includes, but is not limited to, the Kansas PTA legislative standing positions and priority positions.

Please visit Kansas PTA at www.kansas-pta.org or National PTA at www.pta.org for complete Policy Statements and Position Papers.

LEGISLATIVE PRIORITY POSITIONS

Priority 1 – Kansas Constitution. Kansas PTA supports efforts to preserve the Kansas Constitution. This includes Article VI, regarding public education, to protect non-partisan elections of local school board members, to retain legislators’ obligation to provide suitable finance for ongoing educational improvement, as well as State Board of Education oversight of state education standards and accreditations.

Priority 2 – Investing in Public Education. Kansas PTA supports a balanced tax policy to ensure that our state has enough funds to deliver core services, for which public education is about half of most state budgets. Tax policy based upon a balanced combination of income, property and sales taxes has a history of reliability and fairness.

Priority 3 – Fully Fund Special Education and other Mandates. Kansas PTA supports efforts to fully fund state and federal education mandates, particularly special education, without disproportionately shifting the required financial obligation to local communities.

Priority 4 – Early Childhood.  Kansas PTA supports investment in quality early learning, such as all-day kindergarten, Pre-K programs, and Parents as Teachers, to provide opportunity for every Kansas child to be prepared to succeed in school. Children who enter school kindergarten-ready are more likely to experience academic success and to require fewer resources to achieve state education standards.

Priority 5 – Accountability. Kansas PTA supports efforts of the Kansas Department of Education to implement a new model of accountability and accreditation, designed around multiple measures and leading indicators which can be used to inform improvement at the local level along with lag indicators that tend to record what has already happened.

Priority 6 – Bullying Prevention.  Kansas PTA supports anti-bullying efforts to create positive and safe school environments, which empower peers to establish supportive, inclusive relationships and to address the prevention and intervention of bullying behavior.

Priority 7 – Mental Health and Wellness.   Kansas PTA supports efforts to restore comprehensive community mental health services, to invest in professional development regarding trauma-informed care and students’ social, emotional and mental health issues with emphasis on early detection, to promote educational programs for families, and to reduce the stigma of mental illness and build a of understanding around children and youth mental health.

Priority 8 – Gun Safety.  Kansas PTA supports comprehensive efforts to improve the safety of our nation’s youth and our communities, including gun safety and violence-prevention measures.

Priority 9 – Vaping Prevention. Kansas PTA supports efforts to educate the public about the dangers of electronic nicotine delivery devices and restricting their access to youth. Local communities are encouraged to follow the work of the Kansas Vaping Task Force, including policy and programs that supports access to cessation programs which may include the use of FDA approved nicotine delivery systems.

Priority 10 – Access to Affordable Quality Health Care. Kansas PTA supports efforts to develop and fund comprehensive health care programs, including school-linked health clinics, and to provide equitable access to quality, affordable health care for all children.

Priority 11 – Public Dollars for Public Education. Kansas PTA opposes the use of vouchers for the tuition of non-public schools, also known as tax credit scholarships, choice, education freedom. Non-public schools are not required accept all students, can discriminate in admissions, mandate religious instruction, operate under different rules of transparency and accountability, waive access to special education services and such.

Priority 12 – Non-discrimination policies – Kansas PTA recognizes the principle of equal opportunity under the law. Legislative action is encouraged to identify a comprehensive list of classes protected against discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any statutorily prohibited basis.

Priority 13 – Student Data, Privacy and Info Sharing. Kansas PTA recognizes the value of collecting student data to make informed decisions about educational policy and practices and thus will advocate that data collectors be transparent and engaged with families on the development, implementation and notification about policies and procedures related to the privacy and protection of student data; and, allow for parents and families to retain the right to review and request corrections of their child(ren)’s education records or profiles.

Publication of the Kansas PTA Advocacy Leadership Team
Lauri DeNooy, Kansas PTA President
Kim Martin, Kansas PTA Vice President of Advocacy
Debbie Lawson and Denise Sultz, Kansas PTA State Legislative Co-Chairs
Team Advocates:  Brian Hogsett, Mary Sinclair, PhD, Devin Wilson

UPDATED 10/30/19

PTA Frequently Asked Questions

What is PTA?2020-03-24T15:45:28-05:00

PTA is a grassroots organization made up of parents, teachers, and others around the state who have a special interest in children, families, and schools. National PTA is an association 4 million members strong and there are nearly 18,000 PTA members in Kansas. PTA members are advocates for all children in our neighborhoods, throughout the state, and on Capitol Hill. By joining a local PTA, a member automatically becomes a part of the largest child-advocacy organization in the state and nation.

What does PTA do?2020-03-24T15:46:32-05:00

PTAs work for children. PTAs meet together, study problems, support teachers, volunteer in schools, attend workshops on parenting and become informed on issues regarding children and youth. As a result, PTA members become better parents, teachers, and citizens.

How is PTA different from other parent groups?2020-03-24T15:46:52-05:00
  • PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is a powerful network. It is a state and national affiliated organization dedicated to advocacy for all children. It has as resources other PTA units, state and national organizations, a voice in state and national legislation, and a network capability with 4 million child advocates.
  • PTA provides many opportunities for leadership training. Officers and chairmen can receive job specific training at local, district and state workshops. A family resource and video library dedicated to parent education topics, children’s health and safety, drug tobacco and alcohol awareness, and education issues is available to all PTA units. PTA’s work is based on the concept that many groups with similar goals working for children are much more effective and benefit more children than just a single organization working for the children on one campus.
  • Because PTA is recognized as an advocacy organization for children and promotes parent involvement, leaders are asked to serve on many state boards and committees. This representation adheres to the legislative positions and resolution approved by PTA members at national and state conventions. PTA presence at the state level insures that parents are considered more fully when decisions are made.
  • PTA dues are decided by the membership of the local unit with $1.75 of the dues dedicated to Kansas PTA and $1.75 to the National PTA. All other monies are used as the local unit desires and decides.
  • Other non-PTA parent groups are usually a campus level group that deals primarily with issues arising from its school. There is no affiliation with other parent groups, and there are no state or national resources. Decisions and actions made by a non-PTA parent group generally affect only the children of its affiliated school.
How is PTA structured?2020-03-24T15:47:08-05:00

Most local unit PTAs meet at a school campus. Groups of local unit PTAs often join together to form councils. Above councils, there are 8 region vice-presidents and a Kansas PTA Board of Managers, made up of volunteers. The board sets policies for PTAs throughout Kansas.

When was PTA formed?2020-03-24T15:47:44-05:00

Feb. 17, 1897 in Washington, D.C. Two thousand women and some men met to discuss the nation’s future and the need for all caring adults to mobilize and to act on behalf of children. Thus, the National PTA was formed. The Kansas PTA was organized in 1914.

Why should I get involved?2020-03-24T15:47:57-05:00

Because of your children and because of your community. Studies have shown that membership in PTA provides your child and other children around you with a greater chance of achieving in school. As a PTA member, you are more likely to be an informed, involved parent. PTA provides the resources you need to stay involved in the life of your child every day. The PTA is the place to gain knowledge on ways to keep children safe, trouble-free, and involved in school.

What are the benefits of being involved in PTA?2020-03-24T15:48:12-05:00

PTA provides opportunities to meet and to talk with other parents who have the same worries as you. By sharing common concerns, you will feel more empowered to do the tough job of parenting. Being part of PTA results in parental support and makes school involvement easier. You will no longer feel “all alone” in raising your child. PTA also provides educational opportunities. From local-level parent education meetings to the Kansas PTA Annual Convention, PTA encourages learning and the sharing of accomplishments. Ultimately, PTA provides the opportunity to serve, to volunteer, and to contribute to the welfare of all children, because children represent our future. PTA will introduce you to a great variety of new activities and opportunities to share your special talents. PTA will give you opportunity, not only to impact your local community, but to have input in major legislative and policy issues affecting children throughout the state.

How do I join?2020-03-24T15:48:28-05:00

Contact your local PTA president or the Kansas PTA Office at 785-234-5782. Call us today.

How do I organize a PTA or PTSA?2020-03-24T15:48:48-05:00

A PTA (parent-teacher association) or PTSA (parent-teacher-student association) is a self-governing local unit of National PTA. Although most PTAs are organized in schools, PTAs can also be organized in other places where parents or others concerned about the health, education and well-being of children and youth wish to meet. Anyone – parent, school principal, teacher or other interested, caring person – may take the first step toward organizing a PTA. To become a PTA contact:

Kansas PTA
715 SW Tenth Street
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: 785-234-5782
Toll Free: 888-311-5782
Fax: 785-324-4170
E-Mail: kansaspta@gmail.com

Members of the Kansas PTA Board of Managers are available to address your group, providing information about PTA and helpful materials.