The 2020 Illinois School Report Card: What’s New and What’s Missing

Illinois releases its school report card every year at the end of October, and the data presented can help you and your PTA understand what is happening in your district and in your child’s school. This year, because of the pandemic, there are a lot of exceptions noted on the school report card, but there is still … Continue reading The 2020 Illinois School Report Card: What’s New and What’s Missing

Play the Fund Education Instead Game

Schools are underfunded, both here in Illinois and across the nation. You probably already knew that. Now a new online game called Fund Education Instead from the Partnership for the Future of Learning and the National Education Policy Center seeks to highlight that this underfunding is not a fact of life, but a result of the choices our elected leaders make … Continue reading Play the Fund Education Instead Game

Join National PTA in Ensuring #EveryStudentConnected

Among the many issues the pandemic has highlighted, perhaps none is more critical than the lack of online access among a significant portion of our students. While schools districts have tried to connect with every student during online learning through distributing technology to students, putting WiFi access points on school buses and parking them near … Continue reading Join National PTA in Ensuring #EveryStudentConnected

How to Advocate for Healthier School Food

School lunches (and breakfasts) are lifesavers for some children, providing critical nourishment they might not have at home. But even for children who are food-secure, school lunches can help support their education, as well-fed and active children have fewer absences, higher self-esteem, better behavior, and increased academic performance. The Chef Ann Foundation, a non-profit that … Continue reading How to Advocate for Healthier School Food

How to Advocate for the Arts at Your School

Illinois funding of schools has long been woefully inadequate, and now the pandemic has made school finances even more challenging due to flat state funding and increased costs as schools struggle to provide online learning for all students or supplies for in-person classes. When school budgets get tight, the arts are often among the first … Continue reading How to Advocate for the Arts at Your School

National PTA Position Statement on Addressing Institutional Racism

On July 27th, National PTA adopted a position statement on addressing institutional racism. The statement reaffirms National PTA’s commitment to listen, educate, and advocate beyond rhetoric and to rise to correct all inequities and injustices. “As an association that represents all children and families, it is our duty to disrupt the systems that propagate institutional … Continue reading National PTA Position Statement on Addressing Institutional Racism

National PTA Statement on Racial Inequity and Injustice in America

National PTA President Leslie Boggs and National PTA Executive Director Nathan R. Monell released the following statement on Tuesday. Illinois PTA stands in solidarity with National PTA on this statement and encourages our local PTAs and PTA Councils to do so as well. National PTA condemns the inequitable and brutal treatment of all African Americans … Continue reading National PTA Statement on Racial Inequity and Injustice in America

Free Kit Helps Families Address Screens in the Classroom

As a parent, you probably keep an eye on how much screen time your child is getting at home and what they are doing on those screens. But what about the screens your child sees in school? Are what’s on those screens really helping your child learn? What about the data collected by such technology? … Continue reading Free Kit Helps Families Address Screens in the Classroom

Current EBF School Funding Will Never Get Us to Adequately Funded Education

Illinois PTA strongly supported the passage in 2017 of the new Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) formula that directs additional school funding to those districts most in need. As part of that new formula, the legislature committed to increasing school funding by $350 million per year for 10 years. The results from the first two years of … Continue reading Current EBF School Funding Will Never Get Us to Adequately Funded Education

Human Trafficking: A Primer for PTAs

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. While you may not think that human trafficking is an issue in your community—a 2017 poll in Illinois indicated more than half disagreed that it was happening in their area—in fact, Illinois ranks 11th in the nation in the number of cases of human trafficking. What … Continue reading Human Trafficking: A Primer for PTAs

What’s New with the Illinois School Report Card

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released its annual school report card last week. There is one significant change to the report card this year as more of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) goes into effect: site-specific expenditure reporting. That means that the school report card now shows the federal and state/local funding … Continue reading What’s New with the Illinois School Report Card

News from National Convention—The Opioid Epidemic

One of the workshops at the 2019 National PTA Convention focused on the Opioid Epidemic. Misuse of prescription pain medication is one of the fastest growing health issues in the United States today, and the problem is on the rise at an alarming rate not just among the general population but among youth as well. … Continue reading News from National Convention—The Opioid Epidemic

News from National Convention—Resolutions

At the 2019 National PTA Convention last week in Columbus, OH, delegates adopted one new resolution and amended two other existing resolutions. The first, dealing with financial literacy, came from Illinois PTA. The other two dealt with energy drinks and lead. The financial literacy and lead resolutions both had minor amendments approved by the delegates, … Continue reading News from National Convention—Resolutions

How School Districts are Using Their New Funding

Illinois enacted a new school funding formulain August 2017. Known as the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) model, it calculates what adequate funding for a district would be and directs the majority of additional state funds to those districts furthest from adequacy. The legislature has committed to providing an additional $350 million per year for the next … Continue reading How School Districts are Using Their New Funding

School Wellness Policies—Is Your PTA at the Table?

Do you know if your school district has a school wellness policy, and if so, what’s in it and what the district is doing to implement it? If your district participates in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, they are required to develop such a plan and to permit parents to participate in … Continue reading School Wellness Policies—Is Your PTA at the Table?

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child

Children’s success in school isn’t limited to just academics. PTA has known this since our founding, focusing our advocacy efforts not just on children’s needs at school, but at home and in their community as well. Now, the education and public health sectors are aiming to better align their efforts to improve each child’s cognitive, … Continue reading Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child

Advocacy Day 2019—A Challenging and Rewarding Day

Illinois PTA hosted is Advocacy Day in Springfield last Wednesday, February 6th. Though the weather did not cooperate, making travel difficult or impossible for some PTA advocates, Illinois PTA was still able to visit with every legislator’s staff and meet with a few legislators as well. A few of our advocates who had ducked in … Continue reading Advocacy Day 2019—A Challenging and Rewarding Day

New PTA Partnership Helps Families Advocate for Safer Schools

School shootings are in the headlines far too often, causing us to worry that our child’s school might be the next one. Accompanying that worry is often a feeling of not knowing how to change anything to make your child’s school safer and perhaps the thought that it would never happen here. That was Alissa … Continue reading New PTA Partnership Helps Families Advocate for Safer Schools

New Report Provides Additional Data Supporting Illinois PTA’s Emerging Adults Recommendations

Since the release of our 2017 Report on Young Adults Involved in the Justice System, Illinois PTA has been a leader in speaking out for differentiated treatment of those youth ages 18 to 25 involved in the justice system. Last Thursday, Illinois PTA President Brian Minsker participated in the Juvenile Justice Initiative(JJI) Reimagine Justice Summit … Continue reading New Report Provides Additional Data Supporting Illinois PTA’s Emerging Adults Recommendations