Learn about our legislative priorities and other supported issues and find out more ways to get involved on the Take Action page. Our advocacy work is directed by our member-approved resolutions, principles, and legislative platform. In 2021 we are introducing our Focus on Advocacy program.
During the Washington state legislative session, WSPTA will send action alerts and informational broadcasts to WSPTA members who have subscribed to WSPTA’s Action Network Group. These action alerts are quick, easy ways to communicate with your legislators on topics they are actively working on. To learn more about WSPTA’s effectiveness in advocating, end of session reports are located on the Advocacy & Legislative Resources page.
On June 8, 2021, WSPTA Legislative Consultant Marie Sullivan led the webinar “All About Advocacy” an overview of WSPTA’s actions during the 2021 legislative session. You can watch the recording on our YouTube channel and access the information here.
The Washington State PTA legislative platform is a two-year platform to mirror the Washington state legislative cycle. In the even-numbered years, the new platform is voted on by members at the legislative assembly in the fall. The top five issues become our short-term platform and consist of our priority issues when advocating throughout the year. Other issues are placed on an “also supported” list. During the odd-numbered years, members vote to amend current issues or to add new, emerging issues to the also supported list. Each issue has a corresponding handout located in the dropdown that can be downloaded and used when advocating. A full playlist of issue education videos is also available on the WSPTA YouTube channel.
Top 5 Legislative Priorities for 2020-2021
Washington State PTA shall support legislation or policies that:
- Support the medical and mental health of all students P-12 with innovative funding solutions for increased non-teaching staff including but not limited to nurses, counselors, psychologists, and social workers in schools, provided in-person or according to the best practices in telehealth access.
Washington State PTA shall advocate for legislation or policies that support students during and after COVID-19:
- Protect early learning, K-12, post-secondary, and child-related programs especially:
- Resources for students needing additional supports (academic, physical, or emotional)
- Local effort assistance funding.
- Authorize flexibility within transportation and categorical allocations to allow districts to meet students’ needs, retroactive to March 1, 2020, through August 31, 2022.
- Address the state budget deficit without creating or increasing funding inequities:
- With progressive, sufficient, sustainable, and equitable revenue sources
- Avoid mid-year budget cuts and/or redistribution of existing education funds.
- Allocation of new state or federal funding to support:
- Students who receive special education services or are furthest from educational justice
- Meals for children and youth facing food insecurity
- COVID-19-related childcare and school-age-student care needs
- Social and emotional health of students and staff.
Washington State PTA shall support legislation, policies, and funding that ensure equitable digital inclusion and access for all students, families, and staff, including:
- Appropriate technology:
- Robust, up-to-date, universal broadband infrastructure
- Affordable broadband internet service
- Developmentally appropriate internet-enabled devices.
- Effective engagement in online learning:
- District-wide consistency in learning platforms
- Professional development for educational staff including social emotional learning, equity, and social justice in online environments
- Leveraging community partnerships, especially those that serve marginalized communities
- Training and technical support for families and caregivers, that are accessible and delivered in a culturally competent context
- Consideration for personal privacy issues and adherence to data privacy laws
- Identification of and support for sharing of best practices among districts.
Washington State PTA shall support legislation and policies that uphold the following for students with disabilities and their families:
- Make resources, program services, parent education, and training accessible including:
- Local resource centers
- Implementation of a statewide online portal.
- Ensure that a range of appropriate devices and assistive technology is available.
- Provide access to multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS).
- Remove barriers and increase flexibility within categorical funds to meet the greatest needs.
- Remove the 13.5% cap on funded enrollment for districts.
- Fully fund and implement the federal government’s obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Washington State PTA shall support legislation or policies that prevent and reduce gun violence and suicide including:
- Identify, address, and mitigate the disproportionate impact on communities of color, LGBTQ+, and other affected groups.
- Fund community-based prevention strategies.
- Fund school mental health supports and a statewide anonymous reporting system.
- Encourage school districts to partner with gun safety experts to educate their communities and promote safe firearm storage.
- Prohibit the sale or transfer of military-style assault weapons.
Learn how to store your firearms safely: https://besmartforkids.org/
2020-2021 WSPTA Supported Issues
Washington State PTA shall support legislation or policies that:
- Achieve equitable representation in highly capable (HiCap) programs via universal screening, including students who are low-income, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), highly mobile, ELL, and students with disabilities; and expand OSPI reporting to include all subgroups at the school district level.
- Expand the identification and services for students who qualify in one academic area (math/reading) to all districts.
- Ensure that HiCap curriculum and professional development (academic and SEL) are provided to all identified students and the staff that serves them.
Washington State PTA shall support legislation or policies that build a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable climate for our children that:
- Adopt and enforce legislation that mitigates the effects of climate change.
- Provide funding and technical assistance to jurisdictions to develop, and implement Strategic Climate Action Plans (SCAP) that reduce school district, community, and regional greenhouse gas emissions.
- Equitably address adverse impacts to communities disproportionately affected by climate change.
- Acknowledge that climate change is a health crisis that disproportionately and adversely impacts children and youth.
Washington State PTA shall support legislation or policies that support emergency preparedness in schools through:
- Funding the regional school safety centers to provide training and technical assistance for the development, annual updating and implementation of comprehensive safe school planning including continued operations plans.
- Providing resources to districts for emergency supplies and equipment.
- Verifying compliance of emergency planning coordination between districts, local, and regional emergency management, including first responders and families.
For more information, email the WSPTA Advocacy Director.
Submit a Legislative Issue Proposal
The window for submitting a proposal for consideration at the 2021 Legislative Assembly is closed. Resolution proposals will be accepted again in the fall for consideration at the May 2022 convention. And, all proposals for the 2022 Legislative Assembly will open in the spring of 2022.
- Complete the online issue proposal form (http://bit.ly/WSPTAIssueForm2021).
- When WSPTA receives the issue proposal form they will send you a unique Dropbox link for you to upload a Word document that includes the required issue title, issue description, persuasive statement, and facts and evidence. Your Word document must be uploaded no later than June 1, 2021. PDF and other noneditable file types will not be accepted.
PLEASE NOTE: You are NOT able to save an in-progress issue proposal form once in process. If you close your browser or go back, your issue proposal form will not be recorded. You must complete the proposal form in one sitting. We recommend that you review the required elements of the issue proposal form in advance and save your answers in a Word document.
- Online Issue Proposal Form
- Issue Proposal Instructions
- Issue Review Checklist – New Issues
- Issue Review Checklist – Amended Issues
- Savvy Submitter’s Guide to Issues, Resolutions, and Principles – Part 1 – Overview
- Savvy Submitter’s Guide to Issues, Resolutions, and Principles – Part 2 – Issues
- Savvy Submitter’s Guide to Issues, Resolutions, and Principles – Part 5 – You’ve Completed Your Submission, Now What?
- Be a current Washington State PTA member.
- Submit a completed Issue Proposal Form (including the online issue proposal form and an uploaded Word document) by the deadlines above and include all links/references so the information is verifiable.
- Be available by email and phone to work with the advocacy committee member assigned to review your issue to provide clarification or additional information as needed.
- Be available during the advocacy committee meeting to answer questions on the issue.
- In the case where more than one issue submitted is of similar scope, agree to work with others to combine issues.
- Register for and attend the WSPTA Legislative Assembly (or send a representative), October 2021, to present your issue to attendees to encourage adoption.
- Additional items may be requested such as an education PowerPoint to share with delegates, additional talking points to share with other supporters during caucusing, and an opening persuasive statement for the debate.
- All issue submitters must sign the Issue Team Code of Conduct.
IMPORTANT! You will need to make sure that you are a current PTA member, are registered for WSPTA Legislative Assembly, and are designated as a voting delegate by your PTA president, who must submit your name to the WSPTA office. Details on the procedure and the deadline for naming voting delegates will be sent to your PTA president closer to the event date.
The advocacy committee will review the issues using the Issue Review Checklist and make recommendations to the board of directors at its summer 2021 meeting. Following the board meeting, you will be notified if your issue will be forwarded to the members at legislative assembly.
Each submitter shall complete the Issue Proposal Form and submit by the deadline. If the directions are not followed and/or deadlines are not met, it may prevent your issue from being considered and/or moving forward.
- Identify whether the submission is being offered by an individual PTA member, local PTA/PTSA (in good standing), council (in good standing), or WSPTA committee.
- Provide primary submitter contact information including name, PTA/PTSA name and number, mobile number, and email.
- Provide additional submitter contact (if applicable) including name, PTA/PTSA name and number, mobile number, and email.
- Identify if you are available to attend legislative assembly and willing and able to participate in future advocacy, including taking part in weekly conference calls and testifying in Olympia.
- Identify if you are submitting a new issue or amending an existing issue.
- For new issues only:
- Work in progress – Are any legislators and/or groups or coalitions currently working on this topic?
- Is this topic a current or past position of PTA? – List the WSPTA, other state PTA congress, or National PTA positions, principles, issues or resolutions that align with your proposed new issue. Cite the position or resolution title and year, if known.
New Issues: When you have completed and submitted the online form, WSPTA will send an email to the indicated primary submitter’s email address within two days. This email will include a link to a unique Dropbox folder for your proposal. Submitters will upload one Word document with the following information for proposed new issues:
- Issue title – In 50 characters or less, including spaces, provide a proposed title for your new issue. The title should concisely and accurately describe the legislative issue.
- Issue description – In 350 characters or less, including spaces, please provide a description for the new issue. The description must follow the provided format “The Washington State PTA shall advocate for legislation or policies that:” (the 350 character limit begins AFTER this introductory language).
Examples of other issue descriptions:
- Improve the quality and nutritional content of school breakfast and lunch programs. (85 characters)
- Institutes a state-wide Breakfast After the Bell Program and initiate polities at the District Level that encourage Early Adoption of Breakfast After the Bell Programs. (170 characters)
- Support school district capital improvements, fund school facilities and pass simple majority for bonds by adjusting the state’s capital funding formula in the School Construction Assistance Program. Also require the improvement of and use of school facility impact fees in local jurisdictions. (296 characters)
- Persuasive statement – Provide a persuasive statement for this new issue, up to a maximum of 250 words.
- Facts and evidence – Provide the facts and evidence that lead you to propose this new issue. Include references and links to substantiate facts. Limit your response to no more than 5 pages.
Amendments to Existing Issues: When you have completed and submitted the online form, WSPTA will send an email to the indicated primary submitter’s email address within two days. This email will include a link to a unique Dropbox folder for your proposal. Submitters will upload one Word document with the following information for proposed amendments to existing issues:
- Current issue title – Provide the current title of the existing issue to be amended.
- Issue title amendments – Indicate your proposed amendments to the current title, if any. The title, as you propose it would read, must be 50 characters or less, including spaces. Use strikethough to note deletions and bold/underline to show additions. The title should concisely and accurately describe the amended issue.
- Issue description – Indicate your proposed amendments to the current issue description. The description, as you propose it, must be 350 characters or less, including spaces. Use strikethough to note deletions and bold/underline to show additions.
- Persuasive statement – Provide a persuasive statement for the amendment of this issue, up to a maximum of 250 words.
- Facts and evidence – Provide the facts and evidence that lead you to propose amendments to this issue. Include references and links to substantiate facts. Limit your response to no more than 5 pages.