I have been a PTA parent. I have served on Boards in nearly every postion and, I was co-president of a PTA at a large high school. I've been to Legislative Assembly and conventions. I have seen, firsthand, many, many hard-working parents - at several schools - and heard amazing stories of effort at others. (Sad to say, not every school has a vibrant PTA.)
But, just like the seeming disconnect between our schools and our district headquarters, there seems to be an ever-growing disconnect between school PTAs and their needs and our city/state/national PTAs' goals.
What has always troubled me is that local PTA leaders are always there for the meetings with the Superintendents or Mayor or other officials. They rise to endorse Board agendas for work at the Legislature. All this is great but it's high-level.
It feels like the city/state/national operates at that 10,000 foot level and yet, there are real concerns at the district and school level that you would think would be exactly where leadership would help.
For years I've asked why we don't have PTAs in every school. Wouldn't that be a good place to start helping those schools become stronger?
And when we have situations like the growth boundaries, where is the SCPTA to support parent concerns?
Because I have not heard a word from them nor heard parents say that PTA has been there to support them in their concerns. The home page for SCPTA lists needing Area Directors, arts grant, resolution for sleep time requirements and school start times, etc. (One good item is how PTA use school buildings - I'm sure your PTA has seen this but you might take a look if you have questions.)
The Advocacy/Legislative page is outdated (even as it says it was updated on September 30th.).
I got the trigger to write this thread from some unhappiness read from one of the Growth Boundary regions. A couple of parents said they felt the PTA at APP@Lincoln has been long dominated by NE voices and that they felt no support for the dilemma now for the now-current 3rd graders from the Whitman area who would have to spend 6th grade rolling up with JAMS. You could hear the frustration.
Now PTA at APP@Lincoln is a different (and probably more stressful) animal as you have kids coming from all over the region. But PTA is supposed to support concerns that come from all parents.
Is your PTA going to coalesce around a growth boundary issue for your school? I have mostly heard individual parent voices at these meetings so are PTAs rising up to fight back?
As for state PTA, they got rid of their paid legislative voice (which I believe is a mistake), are big supporters of Common Core and have McDonald's as a "platinum" sponsor.
On Common Core, national PTA got a big grant from - who else - the Gates Foundation to push Common Core. I'll have a separate thread on the PTA's "FAQs" on Common Core and student data privacy because they have left out a LOT that parents should know.
I've tried - multiple times - to contact the SCPTA president, Katherine Schomer, and the Washington State PTA President, Heather Gillette, just to ask about PTA focus, Common Core and other issues. No replies.
I don't get it.