New Year’s is a time of fresh starts for a lot of people, but for PTAs, it’s the middle of the year. Your PTA doesn’t need a fresh start, but perhaps you could use a few minor “course corrections.” Here are three such changes your PTA should be considering now. Membership Your PTA got off … Continue reading Tweaking Your PTA’s Course in the New Year
PTAs do a lot for kids, from providing programs to support learning, to engaging families in their children’s education, to raising funds to support their work and improve the lives of children. But PTAs make their biggest difference when they advocate, because through advocacy, PTAs affect the lives not just of the children who show … Continue reading Get Ready to Advocate
Our colleagues at Advance Illinois have released the latest in their series of reports, The State We’re In 2022—A Look at the Impact of COVID-19 on Education in Illinois. While past reports in the series have focused on school funding and student achievement, the latest report dives into how the pandemic has affected education in … Continue reading The State We’re In 2022
This being an election year, the Illinois General Assembly wrapped up their spring session in early April rather than at the end of May. Since the governor is required to take action on bills within 60 days of them being sent for signing, the fate of only a handful of bills remain uncertain. Here are … Continue reading Spring 2022 Legislative Successes
It is in the headlines every day. It can’t be avoided at the grocery store, at church, at school, or anywhere in our communities. It is gun violence, and as National PTA President Anna King notes in the headline of her One Voice blog post, we are well beyond enough is enough. Your PTA can … Continue reading Mobilize Your PTA Against Gun Violence
The first time a PTA gets involved with advocacy is often when the school board puts a tax referendum on the ballot. Here are five things that PTAs need to know about handling this potentially first foray into advocacy. Your members decide if the PTA supports the referendum. While your school board and administrators may … Continue reading PTAs and Referenda—Five Things to Know￼
The arts are more than just another class at school—they can positively affect student motivation, attendance, and the entire culture of a school. That’s why PTA has long supported the arts through the PTA Reflections program and arts advocacy. National PTA has now added resources for PTAs to help them use the arts to advance … Continue reading Supporting the Arts at Your School
Advocacy is at the heart of what PTA does, but you may not be sure what role advocacy has for your local PTA. As we shared in Why Advocate? a few weeks ago, you and your PTA members are likely already doing some advocacy even if you didn’t know you were. To help your PTA … Continue reading Announcing the Illinois PTA Local Unit Advocacy Toolkit
The following is the introductory piece to the new Illinois PTA Local Unit Advocacy Toolkit that will be unveiled at the Illinois PTA Convention and Advocacy Conference on March 29-30. Join us in Springfield to learn more about the toolkit, hear great keynote speakers, meet with state legislators, and conduct the business of the Illinois … Continue reading Why Advocate?
One of the issues Illinois PTA will be supporting at the 2022 Illinois PTA Convention and Advocacy Conference in Springfield on March 29-30 is increased funding for the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) formula. A new report from the Professional Review Panel (PRP), a group created by the Illinois General Assembly to oversee EBF funding and recommend … Continue reading Why EBF Funding Matters
The Illinois PTA Advocacy Conference and Convention is coming up on March 29-30, 2022 in Springfield. As part of the event, attendees will be meeting with legislators at the Capitol on the afternoon of March 29th. Here’s how to set up a meeting with your representative or senator. Find Your Legislator Even if you know … Continue reading How to schedule a meeting with your legislator
Alice McClellan Birney, a widow, a school teacher, and a mother of two, looked around her community and saw children often ending their education at the eighth grade or even the fifth grade. She saw children working in factories and mines. And she determined that somebody needed to speak up for children and their needs. … Continue reading 125 Years of PTA
Governor Pritzker’s budget address is coming up on February 2, 2022. Illinois PTA is encouraging all PTA members to send a note to the governor asking him to include at least $350 million in increased funding to the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) formula for FY23. The governor did not include increased EBF funding in last year’s … Continue reading ￼Take 2 Minutes to Tell the Governor to Support School Funding!
New Year’s resolutions have been made for millennia. The start of a new calendar year is the opportunity to start new habits and new projects. Here are five New Year’s resolutions for PTA leaders. Advocate. PTA advocacy has made a difference in the lives of children for over 120 years in Illinois. A more equitable … Continue reading 5 PTA Leader New Year’s Resolutions
PTA was founded for advocacy. Alice McLellan Birney, a widowed schoolteacher, saw the plight of children in her community and felt someone should be speaking up for them. With Phoebe Apperson Hearst, she founded the National Congress of Mothers in 1897, now known as the National PTA. Illinois PTA will continue this tradition with our … Continue reading Advocacy Matters!
In our wrap-up of this spring’s legislative session, Illinois PTA noted the passage of SB654, the Right to Play Every Day bill that guaranteed every kindergarten through fifth grade student 30 minutes of “supervised, unstructured, child-directed play” every school day. Governor Pritzker has now signed the bill into law, and its requirements take effect immediately. If … Continue reading Right to Play and Your PTA
The Illinois General Assembly finished up their spring session in mid-June, and there is a lot for Illinois PTA members to celebrate. Here are the highlights from the spring. Note that many of these bills still await the signature of the governor to become law. Budget By far, the biggest success of the session was … Continue reading Celebrating 2021 Legislative Successes
Illinois PTA has advocated for education funding for decades and was instrumental in helping to pass the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) formula in 2017. In passing the EBF formula, the legislature promised to provide an additional $350 million every year to the formula to bring Illinois schools up to adequate levels of funding. Last year, no new money … Continue reading Advocate for Education Funding Now!
With school board elections coming up soon, your PTA or PTA Council can be involved in the election by hosting a candidate forum or by publishing candidate answers to a set of questions. As noted last week, PTAs are allowed to conduct a candidate forum or provide educational material, just remember not to send materials … Continue reading Questions to Ask a School Board Candidate
Local elections are coming up on April 6, 2021, and it is these elections, often featuring school board races and school funding referenda, that PTAs and their members are most often involved with. Because PTAs are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, the IRS sets specific limits on what PTAs can and can’t do regarding elections. Failure to … Continue reading Elections—A Guide for PTAs