Take a look at the latest Federal legislative updates from California State PTA.
UPDATES FROM NATIONAL PTA
Separation of undocumented Children and Families
A founding principle of National PTA’s mission is to promote the safety and well-being of all children and youth. National PTA recognizes that the United States began as a country of immigrants and the resulting blend of cultures enriches our nation. National PTA believes all children, regardless of their immigration status, have the right to access a quality public education, adequate food and shelter, and basic health care services. The separation of a child from their parent creates toxic stress and trauma that can have significant harm on a child’s brain development. Children entering the United States either unaccompanied or accompanied by a parent or adult family member must be treated with dignity and respect, should be adequately cared for, and reunited with their family as soon as possible under U.S. laws and policies. Read more.
Safe and Supportive Schools
A founding principle of National PTA’s mission is to promote the safety and well-being of all children and youth. School safety is a critical priority for all parents, educators, students, and community members that cannot be taken for granted. Students and educators have a right to attend schools that are safe and conducive to learning and achievement, yet schools often experience critical incidents such as suicide, natural disasters, or a mass casualty event that have a devastating impact on students, parents, educators, and the community. National PTA recognizes that school safety is a multi-faceted issue with no one clear solution for each community. All efforts to address school safety must involve all stakeholders, especially students, parents, and families and take into account a variety of factors including the physical and psychological safety of students. Our association promotes the implementation of evidence-based policies and practices articulated in A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools. Read more.
Take Action Campaigns
National PTA is currently running three “take action” campaigns. Go to PTA.org to take action:
- Tell the IRS not to create a special tax carveout for donations to private schools
- Tell Congress to oppose the use of federal funds to purchase guns for schools
- Send a letter to your members of Congress and urge them to support legislation that would keep our children and our schools safe from gun violence.
School Safety Update
The Department of Education has no plans to issue guidance on the use of federal funds to purchase guns for schools and will take no action to encourage school districts to use funds this way. National PTA opposes the use of federal funds to purchase firearms for educators. The Federal Commission on School Safety that was commissioned last spring by the President has held a 13 total meetings including 3 listening sessions. The final commission report is expected to be released by the end of this year. See the latest regarding the commission.
School Voucher Update
The IRS has eliminated a tax loophole that allowed taxpayers to receive a federal tax deduction in addition to a state tax credit in exchange for donations to private schools
- Private school choice groups have mobilized to urge the IRS to reinstate this loophole
- National PTA action alert to come.
The Senate and House passed their versions of the Farm Bill in June 2018. PTA does not support the House of Representatives’ version. Read PTA’s letter. PTA in in support of the Senate version of the bill. See details. Congress is in the process of negotiating a final Farm Bill.
New Bill Endorsements 115th Congress (2017-2018)
- 611: Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2017
- Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2017 This bill amends the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to modify definitions relating to homeless individuals and homeless children or youth as used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to verify eligibility for HUD homeless assistance.
- H.R. 5992: Student and Student Athlete Opioid Misuse Prevention Act
- To establish a grant program relating to the prevention of student and student athlete opioid misuse.
- 1413: Teachers Are Leaders Act
- Teachers Are Leaders Act This bill amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to authorize grants for the establishment of professional development programs for teachers who remain in the classroom while also carrying out formalized leadership responsibilities.
- 3427: Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act
- A bill to effectively staff the public elementary schools and secondary schools of the United States with school-based mental health services providers.