Learn more about the Resolutions at the 2023 Convention

Convention delegates will have the opportunity to vote on four resolutions at this year’s 2023 California State PTA Convention in Sacramento! One of these is an update to one of our oldest resolutions. The other three cover suggested tools and strategies to support students in the areas of literacy, synthetic and non-tobacco-sourced nicotine use, and access to the general education curriculum for all students. 

The California State PTA Resolutions Committee has reviewed the evidence provided by the makers of each resolution and otherwise determined that they are consistent with PTA purposes. What follows are explanations and statements from the makers of the resolutions.

Equitable Literacy for all Students

The Equitable Literacy for all Students resolution comes from a group of PTA members from across the state who consulted and collaborated with parents, advocates, professionals, and experts to draft a proposed framework to address our state’s low literacy rates.  As shown by the nation’s report card in 2022, a large majority of California’s children are unable to read at or above average proficiency.  This resolution seeks to authorize the California PTA to advocate at a local and state level to champion and support what the research, experts, and other states’ literacy programs have shown to be successful:    

  • Utilize universal screenings to identify reading difficulties or reading disabilities in K-4th grades; 
  • Implement statewide evidence-based reading curricula proven to be effective to teach the majority of children to read;  
  • Advocate for the creation of a taskforce of literacy experts to ensure implementation of a statewide comprehensive literacy plan that includes, but is not limited to, teacher assessment, preparation, coaching, and professional development requirements. 

The makers believe this resolution will further efforts to provide equitable literacy for all students in California, thus providing children better opportunities to develop and reach their full potential.   

Read the Resolution on the 2023 Convention website.

Synthetic and Non-tobacco-derived Nicotine Products 

The scientific and medical community, along with hundreds of parent-driven advocacy groups including the PTA, are working feverishly to educate our communities, protect our youth, and support the removal of dangerous synthetic and non-tobacco-derived nicotine products.

Big Tobacco has a 60-year-plus history of undermining global public health and being duplicitous and deceitful with the public. The advent of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products with candy-like flavors, combined with marketing targeted specifically to youth, has led to tobacco addiction in a new and much younger generation. Parents and our children have been told a false narrative that these harmful products are safer and less addictive than traditional cigarettes. In fact, these products are extremely addictive and have long-lasting, irreversible negative health impacts.

In 2021, tobacco companies relaunched “synthetic and “tobacco-free” formulations that have flooded the market. These products are sold in non-traditional tobacco marketplaces such as Amazon, and there are no age restrictions. The frightening fact is that there is zero regulation with regard to what goes into these products, so easily accessible by our children, nor testing to determine if using the ingredients that go into making these products are safe for human consumption. There is extremely limited data on the effects of long-term use, and we know that the chemicals often added to these products such as “vitamin vapes,” can contain chemicals listed on the US FDA’s list of harmful and potentially carcinogenic constituents. 

This resolution will give PTA members the authority to advocate on behalf of our youth to eliminate access to these dangerous and addictive products.

Read the Resolution on the 2023 Convention website

Inclusive Education for Students with Cognitive Disabilities

This resolution will authorize California PTA to advocate for inclusive practices that support students who need extensive support and modifications to participate in general education and access the core curriculum. Many of the committee are parents of students with intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, and autism who, knowing that inclusive settings have better outcomes, have struggled to secure access to an adequately supported inclusive placement. 

The committee said, “having to advocate for our children to have the opportunity inclusion brings, often having to pay a professional advocate or an attorney, has a damaging impact on our relationship with our schools. The reality is that California is the fourth worst state in the US for inclusive education. Well-established research shows that students with extensive support needs who are educated in inclusive settings have better outcomes in employment and post-secondary education and training. Searching for the resolution’s sources, we found very recent research that strengthened the case, including a major national study published in December. We found support for our research from national organizations such as TASH, National Down Syndrome Congress, and the TIES Center.” 

The resolution allows the PTA to advocate for training and technical support for schools, for the use of alternate achievement standards, and an alternate pathway to a diploma, initiatives that are already underway.  In addition, the resolution allows PTA to advocate for systemic change and authentic family engagement to make inclusion for children with cognitive disabilities the norm in our schools.

Read the Resolution on the 2023 Convention website

Aid to Victims of Sexual Violence and Their Families

This resolution updates the Aid to Rape Victims and Their Families adopted by Convention delegates in October, 1977. Sexual violence is an all encompassing term that includes rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment. The resolution identifies that Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and LGBTQIA+ communities are disproportionately identified in the sexual violence data. 

The resolution maintains the focus on the importance of educating communities about the many forms of sexual violence and the availability of community education resources. The resolution further seeks to assure that services are available for violence survivors and their families by advocating for legislation. Finally, schools are identified as a critical source of support services and prevention programs for students.  

This updated resolution would support and encourage efforts to mobilize and connect groups providing services to victims of sexual violence and their families. 

Read the Resolution on the 2023 Convention website

The California State PTA Board of Managers has approved these resolutions to be on the agenda for delegate consideration at the 2023 Convention. Hearings about each resolution will be held during Convention, prior to votes during our General Meetings. Click here for more information about the hearing and voting processes.