Annual Legislative Assembly                                                  

October 2018

Attended by Grand Ridge PTSA
Advocacy Director Carrie Mount

The Washington State Parent Teacher Association (WPTA) holds an annual legislative assembly, where the advocacy representatives from PTSA boards across the state gather to vote on what the WPTA’s top five legislative advocacy priorities will be for the following calendar year (during the even years) or amend the current priorities (during odd years). The two-year model mirrors the state legislature’s term.

Selecting the five priorities is an important role for the delegates, as it determines how the WPTA’s advocacy platform will focus its energy to serve the state’s students and families in our public school system. The intent of the selection of five priorities is to unite and support our members so that PTAs send consistent messaging to their respective schools, communities, and legislators.

A legislative proposal can be submitted by any PTA member. The proposal’s substance may take on a variety of topics and subjects that the proposing member claims be at the front of the PTA’s advocacy efforts. These proposals are narrowed by a committee and then several are presented at the conference. The attendee delegates are encouraged to read and understand these proposals ahead of time, come with questions, attend caucus sessions, debate the proposals, and finally vote on the delegate’s top five choices.

The selected priorities from the 2018 Assembly are: (1) Social Emotional Learning; (2) School Construction and Simple Majority for Bonds; (3) Prevent Gun Violence; (4) Strategies to Address the Teacher Shortage; and (5) Strategic K–12 Investments to Close Gaps. Each of these can be reviewed in detail here.

An important priority to me was number two, which advocates a legislative resolution to reduce the requirement of a supermajority (60% of the vote) to a simple majority (50%) to pass school bonds. By lowering the majority requirement, the PTA believes more construction bonds will pass in state areas where communities struggle to pass bonds, resulting in aging, ill-fitted, and sometimes dangerous buildings for our state’s children. This priority also encourages documentation of portables, including their age and condition, and to a renewal of K–3 grants of capital funding to support current class size targets.

For more information about the assembly and adopted principles and resolutions, visit the Assembly Wrap-Up Page.