Thursday, September 24, 2015

Nominate a Deserving Individual for the WSPTA Outstanding Advocate Award

Applications now are available to recognize the WSPTA's Outstanding Advocate to be awarded at the WSPTA Legislative Assembly October 24, 2015 in Olympia, Washington. The WSPTA Outstanding Advocate award recognizes and honors an individual for continued and dedicated service to ALL children, and a demonstrated commitment to helping create strong policies relating to the health, welfare, safety, and education of children and youth.
To apply: complete the award application and submit to the WSPTA office by October 5, 2015.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2015 Legislative Assembly Registration is Now Open

The 2015 Legislative Assembly is right around the corner. Registration for accommodations  and the one day event is now open.

2015 Legislative Assembly
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Red Lion Inn | Olympia | Registration

Hotel Reservations: Please book your hotel room by October 9, 2015 to take advantage of the Washington State PTA room block discount. 

Questions about Legislative Assembly? Please contact Brook Valentine, Washington State PTA Legislative Chair.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Washington State PTA Position Statement: Uninterrupted Operation of Public Schools

Does PTA have a position on work stoppages and strikes? Are there guidelines for local PTAs?  Yes and Yes!
WSPTA position:  Washington State PTA will not support work stoppages and/or strikes which interrupt or disrupt the educational day. National PTA also has a position statement on “Teacher Negotiations, Sanctions and Strikes” which provides guidance for local PTAs.

Please read below for additional information and texts of both position statements.

Our regions, councils and local PTAs in many areas of the state are being  impacted this week and possibly in the coming weeks by work stoppages, and/or strikes in many of our school districts. This can be a difficult and stressful time for all. Remain PTA mission focused to support what is best for all kids by providing resources from your community on activities and social services for children and families. Strive to create the safest path with the lowest impact on children. 

In order to ensure that guidance is provided to local PTAs and councils, the following applies: WSPTA has a resolution regarding Uninterrupted Operation of Public Schools and the National PTA position statement on Teacher Negotiations, Sanctions and Strikes. Both are listed below and may assist our regions, councils and local PTAs with information on how to respond to strikes.

The Washington State PTA Resolution as passed by its membership:
UNINTERRUPTED OPERATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS 18.6, Resolution passed 1986; revised 2006

Whereas, the Washington State PTA has a purpose “To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, spiritual education”, and

Whereas, Quality Education is a high priority issue for the Washington State PTA, and

Whereas, Washington State citizens have historically valued the reliable delivery of vital services and the orderly management of public institutions including fire and police services and public schools, and Whereas, the Washington State PTA also holds that a disruption to the educational system in the form of work stoppages and strikes is detrimental to the best interests of the children and families affected by those actions, and

Whereas, the Washington State PTA believes that a disruption to the educational system in the form of work stoppages and/or strikes is often detrimental to the best interest of the children and families affected by those actions. While acknowledging that more state resources must be committed to the educational process in the State of Washington, including higher salaries for educational employees. Therefore, be it

Resolved, that the Washington State PTA shall work to produce conditions with regard to the collective bargaining process which will consistently produce, in a timely manner, labor agreements negotiated and fully embraced by the direct parties thereto and which will not cause disruption to the school calendar; and be it further

Resolved, that the Washington State PTA will not support work stoppages and/or strikes which interrupt or disrupt the educational day.

That said, here are some guidelines from National PTA and WSPTA:
These are suggested measures for action organized appropriately during the strike, and after the strike. These guidelines, plus counsel from the state PTA and the basic good judgment of the people, should enable the council and the local PTAs to minimize the dilemmas and to contribute constructively to community understanding, teacher satisfactions, renewal of cordial parent-teacher dialogue, and improved educational climate for children.

From National PTA’s position statement on “Teacher Negotiations, Sanctions and Strikes”:

During the Strike
  • Urge immediate and continuous negotiations and if necessary mediation to get schools open as soon as possible. If negotiation is delayed, the PTA should seek to bring the school board representatives and teachers' organization representatives together.
  • PTA should not man the classrooms, except possibly for a day in the absence of advance notice of a strike. Not only is manning of classrooms inconsistent with PTA efforts to obtain a qualified teacher in every classroom, but personal liability may be incurred. If the school administration intends to keep the schools open during a teacher walkout, it should develop a corps of volunteers outside the PTA structure.
  • Suggest and urge appropriate action by parents, community agencies, and volunteer groups that will protect children during the period the school is closed.
  • Encourage the full and continuous participation of teacher members in PTA activities.
After the Strike
  • Plan activities that will restore harmony, promote teacher morale, and renew parent-teacher dialogue.
  • Through informed public opinion see that the negotiated agreements, which settled the strike, are faithfully implemented.
  • Work for community understanding and support of school needs.