Legislative Newsletter

PISD Council of PTAs - 9/2/16


In this issue, you will find the Texas PTA priorities for the upcoming legislative session. These are important because they guide state level advocacy efforts. If you would like the district PTA to advocate for particular education legislation topics, you are welcome to send your ideas to legislative@planopta.org.

Texas PTA Legislative Priorities

Texas PTA is the largest child advocacy association in the state. Members had the opportunity to make their voice heard in an advocacy survey this year. Here are the TX PTA Legislative Priorities for the 85th legislative session that begins in January 2017.

Public School Funding – Pursue an adequate and equitable solution for school funding while maintaining accountability and responsibility for educating the whole child. In addition, Texas PTA advocates for funding for enrollment growth.

Powdered Alcohol – Pursue banning the sale to minors of powdered alcohol, or Palcohol, a powder that can be mixed with liquids – similar to the way Kool-Aid is mixed with water – to create an alcoholic beverage that can have alcohol levels equivalent to a shot of vodka.

Bullying/Cyberbullying – Strengthen the cyberbullying law to protect students from online, often anonymous, bullying by clarifying the role of school districts in addressing this behavior, and removing barriers to law enforcement’s ability to deal with offenders.

Funding for Quality Pre-K Grant Program

Funding for Full Day Pre-K for at-risk students

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) – Advocate for reduced emphasis on state-mandated testing, focusing on grades 3-8, and monitor changes to STAAR for high school students, and limits on benchmark testing for all tested grades.

State Accountability System – Pursue a new accountability system that is valid, reliable and balanced, focuses less on state assessment, and recognizes other attributes of a strong school program, including arts instruction and physical activity.

Age of Adult Criminal Responsibility – Raise the age for mandatory prosecution as an adult from 17 to 18, allowing non-violent offenders who are 17 years of age to be charged as a minor.

Districts of Innovation – Oppose efforts to take away latitude of Districts of Innovation to set their own school calendar.

Vouchers – Oppose vouchers, including Education Account Savings Programs that allow parents to apply for an education savings account. A portion of the funds the state expends for that student’s public school education is deposited into the account. The remainder of the funds are kept by the public school the student previously attended. Money in the education savings account may be used to fund private school tuition, tuition at eligible institutions, distance education, curriculum.

State Board of Education – Actively weigh in on legislation impacting SBOE and monitor activity of SBOE in its quarterly meetings.

TX PTA Advocacy

Local Government

Want to see local government in action? Consider attending a City Council meeting or ISD Board meeting.

  • The Plano City Council meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays at the Plano Municipal Center. Agenda

  • The Plano ISD Board meetings are held on the 1st Tuesdays and work sessions are held on the 3rd Tuesdays at the PISD Administration Building. Check the website since there are occasional exceptions. Agenda

Legislative Student Advisory Councils

Students may become involved in the legislative process by applying for these councils. Note that the application deadlines are all in September.

Check which district you live in using these links:

TX Congressional District

US Congressional District

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Presidential Election Process

Given the upcoming presidential election, the media is filled with stories about the candidates, but how much do you know about the presidential election process? How much can individuals donate to a candidate? What are typical voter turnouts? What is a Super PAC? Learn the answers to these questions and more by reading this informative guide from the nonpartisan League of Women Voters.

Your vote is your voice. Be informed.

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Upcoming Events

9/15 – Last day for students to apply for TX Rep Matt Shaheen’s Dist 66 Student Advisory Council

9/16 – Last day for students to apply for US Rep Sam Johnson’s Dist 3 Youth Advisory Council

9/27 – Last day for students to apply for TX Rep Jeff Leach’s Dist 67 Student Advisory Council

9/27 - PISD Council of PTAs General Meeting (10:00, PISD Admin Boardroom)
9/30 - PISD Council of PTAs Board Orientation (9:30-11:30) and Roundtables (12:45-2:00, Sockwell Center)

10/8 – Candidate Forum (Parr Library)

10/11 - Last day to register to vote

10/18 - PISD Council of PTAs General Meeting (10:00, PISD Admin Boardroom)

10/24-11/4 - Early voting

11/8 - General Election
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PISD Council of PTAs newsletter - Click on 'Signup for Council eNews' on the right side

Texas PTA legislative newsletter - Click on 'Under the Dome'

National PTA legislative alerts - Click on 'Quick Sign Up' in the bottom right corner