Celebrating 100 Years of Advocating for Children
MD PTA Briefs the Maryland House of Delegates Ways and Means Committee
On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, President Elizabeth Ysla Leight briefed Committee Chair Anne Kaiser and members of the House Ways and Means Committee on Maryland PTA’s 2017 legislative priorities and positions.
The testimony opened with MD PTA’s mission and purposes and positions on the legislative issues on budget, vouchers, special education, school construction, and highlighted the importance of monitoring the level of student assessments, student health and school safety. I stressed that Maryland PTA strongly supports Pre-kindergarten funding legislation and supports providing every school system with additional per pupil funding for each eligible four-year old enrolled in public pre-kindergarten school. Legislation is needed to remedy the longstanding deficiency in funding provided to local school systems for pre-kindergarten.
On January 20, 2017, Governor Hogan released his proposed State Budget and Capital Budget for FY 2018. Included in the budget was the significant share of these budgets devoted to operating and capital funding of public schools including the now mandated Geographic Cost of Education Index.
The Governor’s Budget Highlights is available on the Department of Budget and Management’s Website. The General Assembly will consider the Governor’s operating budget as House Bill 150/Senate Bill 170 and capital budget as House Bill 151/Senate Bill 171. The Governor has also introduced a Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) to amend the law to remove several mandated funding programs, including the $7.5 million Public School Opportunities Enhancement Program.
Maryland PTA’s legislative priority on school funding is to support full State funding for Maryland’s outstanding public schools. MD PTA urges the Governor and General Assembly to support increased funding of public education in the FY 2018 State Budget. Local public schools are committed to preparing all students to be globally competitive in college and careers. Increased state investment in public education are essential in these times of rapid change, rising expectations, and increased costs.
Maryland PTA looks forward to testifying on education matters in support of public education the 2017-18 school year with amendments to remove the BOOST program funding and maximizing funding for all other public education programs.
National PTA Statement on Betsy DeVos’ Confirmation as
U.S. Secretary of Education
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 7, 2017)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Laura Bay:
“Today, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Education. Throughout the confirmation process, National PTA joined other education, civil rights, disabilities and community organizations in expressing strong concerns for Secretary DeVos’ lack of experience with public education; unfamiliarity with the challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s public school students, families and educators; and support of programs that divert critical public school resources.
“National PTA looks forward to informing Secretary DeVos on all of our public policy priorities, including equitable public education for all, healthy and safe schools, protections for our nation’s most vulnerable youth and the importance of family engagement in education. Where we are in alignment, we stand ready to work together, however, policies of the administration that attempt to weaken public education will continue to meet National PTA’s opposition.
“National PTA has long stood and advocated for high-quality public education to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our association remains steadfast in our belief that public education must be strengthened with the support of adequate funding and continue to be governed by public officials. We oppose any private school choice system—vouchers, tax credits or deductions—that would divert public school resources.
“In addition to investing in public education, National PTA urges Secretary DeVos to improve the Department of Education’s role in advancing family engagement as a tool to increase student achievement and transform schools and communities. We strongly encourage the administration to carefully consider how family engagement can be integrated into all appropriate policy initiatives that it advances or supports. In particular, we urge the administration to fund the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program and for the Department to utilize the appropriate resources to assist in the dissemination of research and best practices to support family engagement in local communities.
“Furthermore, National PTA hopes that Secretary DeVos will ensure continued implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We also hope she will continue to prioritize stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the law. It is essential that parents and other stakeholders have a seat at the table as states and districts develop new education plans to provide valuable input and hold them accountable.
“National PTA is committed to working collaboratively with Secretary DeVos and the Department of Education to implement these recommendations and advance policies that ensure all children reach their highest potential. Critical progress has been made to improve education, provide educational equity for all children and make sure every child is prepared for long-term success. We cannot go backward.”
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.
The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science
Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest honor bestowed by the United States
government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science (including
computer science) teaching.
Game On Grants; Action for Healthy Kids
Awards worth $1,000! Programs with a parent engagement component will be given priority, and parent-led groups are encouraged to apply (e.g. PTAs, PTOs and school wellness teams with parent members). Select Game On grants on our school grants portal and complete the parent-specific questions to get priority points.
Funding for physical activity and nutrition initiatives such as:
Is Your Local PTA Unit in Compliance with Maryland PTA Standards
of Continuing Affiliation?
1) Are the local PTA unit's bylaws on file with Maryland PTA?
2) Is the local PTA unit up to date on membership dues payments to Maryland PTA?
3) Has the local PTA unit paid their 2016-17 insurance?
4) Has the local PTA unit filed the Annual Renewal of Registration Form for Maryland
5) Has the local PTA unit filed a Form 990 with the IRS?
6) Has the local PTA unit completed an audit for the 2016 year and sent a copy to Maryland PTA?
7) Does Maryland PTA have the current officer contact information for the 2016-2017 school year?
If you can say, "yes," to items 1-7 above, Congratulations! Your local PTA unit is in good standing with Maryland PTA Bylaws!
If your local PTA unit has not completed each of these Maryland PTA requirements, they are not in good standing according to the Maryland PTA Bylaws. Please call our office 1-800-707-7972 or e-mail Office@mdpta.org, for assistance.
MARCH 31, 2017 - DEADLINE FOR COMPLIANCE ACCORDING TO MARYLAND PTA BYLAWS.
National PTA and Guitar Center Team Up to Spark Student Creativity
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 29, 2016)—National PTA® and Guitar Center have teamed up to bring resources to families, schools and PTAs across the country to inspire students’ creativity through the National PTA Reflections arts in education program.
“Participation in the arts enables students to explore their talents and express themselves while building their confidence and sense of accomplishment. Involvement in the arts is also closely associated with students’ social and emotional development and civic engagement,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “National PTA is thrilled to team up with Guitar Center to provide more students the opportunity to experience the joy and important benefits that come from participating in the arts.”
As part of the collaboration, Guitar Center will donate musical instruments to a number of local PTAs across the country to support their arts education efforts, inspire students to participate in the National PTA Reflections program and spark students’ interest to create music. Local PTAs will also have the opportunity to tap into a wide range of support from Guitar Center locations in their areas, such as having Guitar Center instructors serve as judges for their Reflections programs. With studios in nearly 100 stores, Guitar Center Lessons provides a world-class music education in many genres for musicians of all ages and skill levels.
“Learning to play music can be an amazing, life-changing experience that can help improve a student’s self-confidence, but also boost their academic performance over time,” said Krista Shue, national director of Guitar Center’s Lessons program. “We’re excited about the opportunity to collaborate with National PTA to introduce more children to learning music and fostering the skills necessary to think creatively.”
National PTA Reflections is a recognition program through which students are encouraged to explore their creativity and be involved in the arts—in the classroom and at home. National PTA and PTAs nationwide urge students from preschool through grade 12 to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice—dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography or visual arts—that reflect on an annual theme. The 2016-2017 National PTA Reflections theme is “What Is Your Story?”
Submissions are reviewed by visual, literary and performing art experts, and students are recognized each year at the local, state and national levels for their artistic ingenuity in bringing the theme to life. Guitar Center will make it possible for a National PTA Reflections award recipient to travel to the nation’s capital in January to participate in a special ceremony at the U.S. Department of Education.
“The National PTA Reflections program has inspired millions of students to explore their talents and be involved in the arts for nearly 50 years,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA and Guitar Center share a commitment to ensuring all students have the opportunity to experience the arts, as it is essential to helping them reach their full potential and preparing them for long-term success.”
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth.
About Guitar Center
Guitar Center is the world’s largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards, recording, live sound, DJ and lighting equipment. With more than 270 stores across the U.S. and one of the top direct sales websites in the industry, Guitar Center has helped people make music for more than 50 years. Guitar Center also provides customers with an in-house, state-of-the-art lesson facility through its GC Lessons programs in more than 100 stores, where musicians of all ages and skill levels can learn to play a variety of instruments in many music genres. Additionally, Guitar Center’s sister brands include Music & Arts, which operates more than 140 stores specializing in band & orchestral instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students, and Musician’s Friend, a leading direct marketer of musical instruments in the United States. With an unrivalled in-store experience, an industry-leading online presence and passionate commitment to making gear easy-to-buy, Guitar Center is all about enabling musicians and non-musicians alike to experience the almost indescribable joy that comes from playing an instrument.
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
(703) 518-1242, firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrating Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland
2017 CALL FOR AWARD NOMINATIONS
The attached Microsoft Word file provides a review of the information required to submit an Nomination for the 2017 Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland Awards. Click here to Launch the nomination form
Washington County Board of Education Proposed Policy Change May Impact Washington County PTA (Click Here)
Testimony of the President, Elizabeth Ysla Leight (Click Here)
Maryland PTA Structure and Function (Click Here)
Score Report Support
Last spring, your child took a new state test focusing on the critical thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills that students need, which replaced the previous test taken in your state. Results from the new tests are important because they will help teachers better understand where your child does well and where he/she may need some help.
As parents, we all have lots of questions about what score reports from the test means for our children. That’s why in this month’s newsletter, we’re focusing on resources to help you understand your child’s score report, and learn how to use it to support their growth. We hope these resources are helpful to you, and we're here to help!
What's different about the new tests?
Click here for some introductory information on how the new state tests work, and what they are measuring. If you’re not sure which test your child took last spring, select your state from the drop down menu at the bottom of the page for more information.
How can I help at home?
our site, we’ve developed two new one-stop-shop pages (one for Smarter
Balanced and one for PARCC) packed full of useful information for
parents from trusted partners such as GreatSchools, National PTA and
Scholastic. And we’re very excited to share new tools, including
GreatKids State Test Guide for Parents and Skill Builder, which allows
you to search by grade, subject and scoring category to find information
and resources tailored to the areas where your child needs support..
How are they helpful to my child's teacher?
In this video, 2010 National Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling, shares information about the new tests, and how they are helpful to your child’s teacher. This video focuses on the Smarter Balanced test, if you live in a PARCC state, click here.
National PTA received a request from PARCC.
If you could find time to take the survey it would be greatly appreciated.
The PARCC states are seeking feedback to ensure they are delivering score reports and other information in a way that is both understandable and useful to parents and students. The answers parents give will provide the consortium with valuable information, and will help enhance the score delivery process for next year.
Useful PARCC Websites
Other Helpful Links
Have you checked the status of your unit's incorporation?
If you are not considered "In Good Standing" by the Maryland Department of Assessments, you need to contact them (410-767-1350) to find out what is required to bring you into Good Standing. Not being in good standing can result in the loss of your incorporation and the protection it provides. It will cause your local to not be in good standing, and thus not be able to participate in several of our programs and benefits. This loss of standing by the MD Dept of State is usually a result of not filing your property tax report.
THIS REPORT NEEDS TO BE FILED WHETHER YOUR PTA/PTSA OWNS ANY PROPERTY OR NOT!!!
Check your status at www.dat.state.md.us
What's going on.......
Maryland PTA Newsletters
.....good things are happening in Maryland!
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