By: Susan Baird-Joshi, WSPTA Federal Legislative Chair, email@example.com
What does PTA have to do with federal legislation? It turns out, quite a bit.
2024 is the second of the two-year legislative cycle for Congress. 2024 is also a big election year. It’s important that we engage in the federal public policy process and vote.
Here are five actions you can take to share PTA’s priorities with your members of Congress and help your members engage in the public policy process.
First, share WSPTA’s Legislative Priorities with key federal officials. Find contact information for federal officials on WSPTA’s Advocacy Federal Legislation page. Include National PTA’s public policy priorities in your message.
Second, promote the legislative priorities in your PTA’s social media and communication channels. Imagine the positive grassroots impact if 80,000 emails hit our elected officials’ inboxes.
Third, promote National PTA’s annual LegCon and Hill Day, March 5-7, 2024, in Washington, DC when registration opens. Watch for action alerts from National PTA and WSPTA. Advocates from around the country will meet to learn more about public policy across the nation. On Hill Day, our state PTA members will meet with our Washington members of Congress.
Fourth, come to a training about how to set up meetings with members of Congress, recruit PTA attendees and advocate for your children. Then attend a meeting or organize one. Join our Federal Legislative Committee to help plan outreach and communications statewide. Our goal is 12 members, one for each Representative and Senator from Washington State in Congress.
Last, encourage your members to register to vote and vote. You can find links for voter registration on WSPTA’s Advocacy Page, under “Federal Legislation.” A voter’s signature on their ballot must match the signature on their voter registration form.
With the help of advocates like you and National PTA, children and youth had key wins for federal legislation in these policy areas in 2022.
- The Inflation Reduction Act includes funding to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and improve health and learning at schools. https://www.thisisplaneted.org/blog/school-climate-provisions-in-the-inflation-reduction-act
- The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act includes funding to support youth mental health, including school-based programs. https://www.pta.org/home/About-National-Parent-Teacher-Association/PTA-Newsroom/news-list/news-detail-page/2022/06/28/national-pta-applauds-bipartisan-safer-communities-act
National PTA continues to advocate and lobby for key public policy areas that impact our children’s lives. Examples include:
- Empowering families to be active participants in the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
- Increasing access to summer food programs
- Funding family engagement programs in schools
- Funding for Title I and IDEA programs
- Researching the cause and effects of gun violence on youth and communities
- Improving access to and funding for qualified school-based health and wellness practitioners
- Enhancing digital infrastructure to ensure equity
Our future is our children. We need to make the most of every opportunity to speak with one voice for every child.