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.
The Washington State PTA legislative platform is a two-year platform to mirror the Washington state legislative cycle. On 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
*Information, including deadlines and submittal form, will be available by the end of March 2021*
Any PTA member is encouraged to submit an issue that addresses concerns that affect children on a state-wide level. The current legislative issue platform may be amended at the 2021 Legislative Assembly. Members will debate and vote on any amendments to current issues. Any new issue will be added to the “also supported” list.
- Legislative Issue Proposal Form
- Legislative Issue Proposal Instructions
- Legislative Issue Review Checklist
- Savvy Submitter’s Guide to Issues, Resolutions, and Principles – Part 1 – Overview
- Savvy Submitter’s Guide to Issues, Resolutions, and Principles – Part 2 – Issues
- Submitter name and contact information, legislative issue title and short description due May 1
- Completed legislative issue submittal form due June 1
Issue Submitter Requirements:
- Must be a current Washington State PTA member
- Submit a completed Legislative Issue Proposal Form (coming soon) 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 where needed
- Be available during the advocacy committee meeting to answer questions on the issue
- In the case where more than one issue submitted are of similar scope, agree to work with others to combine issues
- Attend legislative assembly (or send a representative) October 2021 to present your issue to attendees to encourage adoption, prepare a 5-minute education PowerPoint to share with delegates, have additional talking points to share with other supporters during caucusing, and prepare a 2-minute opening persuasive statement for the debate, and have additional talking points to share with other supporting delegates
- All who submit an issue selected to move forward must sign the Issue Team Code of Conduct
The advocacy committee will review the issues using the Legislative Issue Review Checklist and make recommendations to the board of directors at its summer board meeting. An advocacy committee member will work with you if additional information is required. Following the board meeting, you will be notified if your issue will be forwarded to the members at legislative assembly.