ADVOCACY

 

The foundation of the PTA is advocacy.  As the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation, PTA provides parents and families with a powerful voice to speak on behalf of every child and the best tools to help their children be safe, healthy, and successful - in school and in life. We advocate for children at school, district, regional, and state and national levels.

Throughout the year, we keep members informed of relevant legislative issues affecting the Issaquah School District and Issaquah High School, provide updates on the ongoing legislative session, provide relevant information about and arrange meetings with our local state legislators, and promote voter registration for students who have recently turned 18 and for all voters in local, state, and national elections.

In Washington State, PTA has been a leader in engaging all levels of government to improve the lives of all children and their families. Members of IH PTSA play an important role in this process.  Every year, we send delegates to Legislative Assembly in the fall and Focus Day in the Winter. See below for further information.

To learn more about Washington State PTA legislative priorities and other supported issues, please see the advocacy page of the Washington State PTA.

 

Legislative Calls to Action:

Voter Voice: During the 2018 legislative session, WSPTA will send action alerts to members who have signed up using our Voter Voice system. These action alerts are quick, easy ways to communicate with our legislators on topics they are actively working on.

If you are interested in receiving email action alerts and contacting your state representatives and/or senator, please email IH PTSA Advocacy Chair Dea Barnett, at advocacy.ih.ptsa@gmail.com.

 

Legislative Assembly:

This year, Legislative Assembly took place October 20-21, 2017 at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma. Delegates voted on the addition of 4 long-term resolutions (broad statements that guide our advocacy work) and 7 short-term issues to add to the current WSPTA legislative platform.

 

All 4 resolutions (long term) passed, in support of

  1. mental health needs for children;
  2. trauma-informed care;
  3. increased affordability and accessibility of post-secondary/higher education and certificates;
  4. LGBTQ+ inclusion.

All 7 supported issues (added to this year’s legislative platform) passed. These are added to the current legislative platform and deal with issues such as school meal policies, school construction and class size reduction, addressing gender-based violence, identification of highly capable students, career connected learning, CTE (career and technical education) and STEM, support for dual credit programs (including  educating families about the opportunity for dual credit), and addressing the teacher shortage.  HB 1827 addresses the teacher shortage, and the legislature passed it in 2016 but left many of its provisions unfunded.

 

Focus Day:

Focus Day is typically held in January or early February. It is a day in which PTA members from around the state gather in Olympia to rally and meet with legislators. On Focus Day 2017, around 5,500 people joined together to urge our legislature to fulfill its paramount duty to amply fund basic education for all children residing in Washington State. Discussions regarding Focus Day planning for 2018 are ongoing, and will be updated here when details are available.

 

Local Issues:

Members of IH PTSA have been involved in advocating for issues on a local level as well as regional and state levels. This has included issues such as crosswalks and parking lot safety, sleep education, and supporting passage of school bonds and levies. If there is an issue that impacts the educational opportunities, learning or social environment, or health and safety of our students that you would like the IH PTSA to work on, please contact the Advocacy Chair, Dea Barnett, at advocacy.ih.ptsa@gmail.com to discuss.

 

School District Levies and Bonds:

Levies are typically voted upon every four years. There will be a levy on the Spring 2018 ballot. Bonds are submitted to the voters on an as-needed basis. In 2016, voters approved a $533.5M bond for school construction and maintenance. Volunteers for Issaquah Schools (VIS) is an organization that organizes campaigns to pass levies and bonds in the Issaquah School District. If you have any questions about VIS, visit our  VIS page.