2011 Legislative Priorities
As the largest and oldest volunteer child advocacy association in the state, Connecticut Parent Teacher Student Association (CT PTSA) provides parents and families with a powerful voice to speak on behalf of every child and the best tools to help their children be safe, healthy, and successful in school and in life.
Connecticut PTSA recognizes the fiscal challenges that are facing the state of Connecticut. We feel that the issues we are concentrating on have either no cost, minimal cost or in the long run will cost the state less than not doing it.
CT PTSA encourages the legislature to adopt statewide legislation allowing for municipalities to create nonpartisan Boards of Education.
Rationale: Connecticut is one of the few states in the nation that still has partisan boards of education. The focus of the members of the Board of Education must be on improving educational quality and facilities for all children. Partisan members may not act in the best interest of education for all children in their decision-making processes. Party affiliated Boards of Education members have and could continue to make their decisions based in a political party caucus. We believe that they must be able to think first of the child and not the political party philosophy. Additionally, the listing of candidates for Board of Education members by party on the ballot can and sometimes does result in a candidate being elected because of their party affiliation rather than their qualifications.
Connecticut PTSA supports legislation that encourages Early Childhood Education
Rationale: Data shows that children who participate in a formal, high quality, early childhood education come to school more prepared to learn. They have a higher level of literacy and they achieve at a higher level.
CT PTSA also recognizes that the most cost effective way of closing the achievement gap is to provide a formal high quality early childhood education.
Connecticut PTSA urges the State Department of Education to support strong parent involvement professional development for all teachers and other certified personnel and further urges the State Legislature to require the Higher Education Commission to include parent involvement course(s) in their education certification programs for teachers, administrators and superintendents.
Rationale: Thirty years of research clearly shows that parent involvement at all levels of decision making in schools improves student achievement.
To reach their full potential, students need parents to take an active role in their education. Schools are working hard to provide a high-quality education for every child. But they cannot do it alone. Parent involvement is critical to creating great schools.
Connecticut PTSA feels that for this to be accomplished there must be some training. Teachers, administrators and superintendents historically have not been given the necessary training on how to involve parents in a meaningful way.
Connecticut PTSA supports legislation that encourages the development of a healthy and respectful school climate that allows students to be free of bullying and harassment and which recognizes that student discipline should reflect positive and preventative classroom management.
Rationale: All students should feel physically and emotionally safe at school. A respectful and positive school climate encourages positive behavior and supports student success.