California State PTA was recognized with the Outstanding State Advocacy Award at the 2020 National PTA Legislative Conference in Washington D.C. last month, for our efforts in raising awareness about healthier school start times and securing the passage of SB 328, the Late School Start bill. The legislation, which was signed into law by Governor Newsom in October 2019, requires that middle schools in California start no earlier than 8:00 a.m., and high schools no earlier than 8:30 a.m.
Carol Kocivar, CAPTA’s former president and current legislative advocate, was also honored individually. She received the 2020 Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award, which is presented to an individual PTA member who, through their leadership and advocacy efforts, affected federal policy priorities within PTA’s annual Public Policy Agenda. Carol’s advocacy includes work on increasing investments in quality public education, school infrastructure, public school choice and charter accountability, as well as safe and supportive school environments.
While they were in Washington, our delegation of 14 from California also met with the offices of Senators Feinstein and Harris, as well as the offices of a number of our Congressional representatives. Our talking points focused on the inclusion of schools in any federal infrastructure legislation as well as the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. Click here for a copy of the National PTA talking points for the conference.
Director of Legislation Shereen Walter and California State PTA President Celia Jaffe also presented a standing-room-only workshop on effective grassroots advocacy techniques as one of the Spotlight presentations being highlighted at the conference.