Focus Areas

Sacramento Update: Advocacy News from California State PTA

California State PTA Sponsors AB 2878 to Strengthen Family Engagement in Schools

California State PTA is sponsoring a family engagement bill AB 2878 that is being carried by Assemblymember Rocky Chavez (San Diego). AB 2878 seeks to use research-based guidelines to define how authentic family engagement could look like in Education Code in order to guide schools, districts and county offices of education.

In the bill are some suggested activities to support the connection between schools and families. The suggested activities have been developed using research-based family engagement practices and standards, including, but not limited to, the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. These activities can be implemented at local schools with little or no cost.

Authentic family engagement is a key factor in long-term student success including better student attendance, higher graduation rates and increased student achievement. It is also a vital component of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Parent participation is required in the development of Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs), therefore utilizing best practices in family engagement will help local communities to craft plans that meet their students’ needs.

Most importantly, all students and families will benefit from the passage of AB 2878. According to the Harvard Family Research Project, family involvement predicts children’s academic achievement and social development as they progress from early childhood programs through K–12 schools and into higher education.

You can help ensure this important legislation becomes law by contacting your local legislators to ask for their support on AB 2878, sharing our messages about AB 2878 on social media and speaking to your unit about the importance of this bill. Resources on our bill and on the importance of family engagement can be found at www.capta.org/advocacy and www.capta.org/family-engagement.

No Child Should Go Hungry in a California Public School

California State PTA Co-Sponsors Assembly Bill 1871

California State PTA is proud to support and co-sponsor AB 1871 (Bonta). This will require charter schools to provide each needy pupil with one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal during each school day.

Low-income charter school students are the only low-income public school students not protected under the existing state law that makes school meals available to students in need. California State PTA has a long history of supporting child nutrition, including helping to create school lunch programs. Get informed and get involved! Find fact sheets, data and stories about this issue.

Close the Prop 13 Corporate Loophole

California State PTA supports the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act of 2018

This initiative will change how commercial and industrial property is taxed and raise between $6 billion and $10 billion to support our schools (40 percent) and other local governments (60 percent). President Dianna MacDonald issued the following statement:

“California State PTA strongly supports the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act. Our schools have been desperately underfunded for years, and we need this measure to ensure our children have the resources they need in order to learn.

“PTA believes it is necessary to close corporate loopholes that are starving our schools of much needed funding, so that our schools have resources to give our young people a world-class education. We urge parents across the state to support this act to give classrooms – and our children – the funding they need.”

For more information on the measure, visit www.capta.org/state-ballot-measures.

Suicide Awareness and Prevention Advocacy

Nationwide, suicide has become the second leading cause of deaths among youth ages 15 – 19. In California, suicide varies between the second and third leading cause of death in teens. These deaths are tragic and unfortunately not rare. Their families, friends, classmates and the community are all impacted. Part of the tragedy is that death by suicide can be preventable.

California State PTA has been working to prevent suicide in California’s children and youth for years. In the current legislative session, we are supporting or evaluating bills that will help students get the help they need in crisis situations. AB 2390 (Harper) and SB 972 (Portantino) will put the suicide prevention hotline phone number on the back of student ID cards. This will give students in middle and high school a way to ask for help, for themselves or a peer, on a card they carry with them day to day.

AB 2639 (Berman) will make an evidence-based online suicide prevention training program available to students and all school personnel. The training includes recognizing signs that a student is at risk and learning how to offer help.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Legislative Action Committee Report – February and March 2018

This legislative session, California State PTA took positions on 18 bills in the California Legislature. View California State PTA’s February and March Legislative Action Committee Reports.

Highlights from the Current Session

Supported by California State PTA:

  • AB 1861 (Rodriguez): The California Healthy Youth Act requires school districts to ensure that all pupils in grades 7 to 12 receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education. This instruction also includes, among other things, information about human trafficking. This bill would require the information about human trafficking to also include information on how social media and mobile device applications are used for human trafficking. Learn more.
  • AB 2265 (Obernolte): This bill would establish a State Seal of STEM to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The bill would also establish criteria for the receipt of the State Seal of STEM, would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to prepare and deliver to participating school districts the insignia to be attached to diplomas or transcripts and would require participating school districts to maintain appropriate records and attach the insignia to diplomas or transcripts of recipient pupils. Learn more.
  • SB 183 (Lara): This bill would prohibit federal immigration enforcement agents, officers or personnel from entering a building owned and occupied (or leased and occupied) by the state, a public school or a campus of the California Community Colleges to perform surveillance, effectuate an arrest or question an individual in the building without a valid federal warrant. It would also limit the activities of federal immigration enforcement agents, officers or personnel to the individual who is the subject of the warrant. Learn more.

About the California State PTA Legislation Action Committee

California State PTA Legislation Action Committee (LAC) meets during the legislative session, and takes action on pending state and federal legislation based on PTA’s priorities and adopted authorities.

For more information, please refer to the Advocacy section of California State PTA Toolkit. Click here to view currently adopted positions on legislation. For more information, or to inquire if a bill is under consideration by the California State PTA, contact the Director of Legislation at legislation@capta.org.