California State PTA Brief Statements on Current Issues

California State PTA is a nonpartisan association that, in accordance with the third Purpose of PTA, advocates at both the state and local levels “to secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth.” PTA takes positions on issues, but never on candidates. Nonpartisan means California State PTA shall not be controlled by, associated with, or in support of the interests of any one political party or individual.

Refer to the California State PTA Toolkit, available in English and Spanish, and the California State PTA Resolutions Book for more information on these topics and PTA’s positions as summarized in these brief statements on current issues. Copies of the resolutions and position statements are available on the California State PTA website, Advocacy section (capta.org). Other resources include National PTA’s Quick Reference Guides and the National PTA website, pta.org.

References for each statement are listed in italics. Position statements may be found in the California State PTA Toolkit and Resolutions in the Resolutions Book. While the references listed below are not exhaustive, a complete list of references can be found in the Advocacy Topic Index at the beginning of the Advocacy section of the Toolkit. PTA encourages its members to make a thorough study of the position statements and resolutions on which these brief issue statements are based.

 

Arts in Education
PTA believes visual and performing arts should be a basic and integral part of a balanced curriculum for all students. PTA supports measures that would guarantee funding for high-quality arts education programs from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

Position Statement:
Arts in Education
Resolutions:
Education: A 21st Century Vision (2005)
Arts Education (1998)

 

Assessment
PTA believes that standards and assessment must be integral parts of the instructional process. Content and performance standards should reflect the full range of both knowledge and skills in specific subject areas, be linked to the curriculum frameworks, and should indicate levels of mastery of skills. The overall goal of any student assessment program should be to identify what students know and how well they can apply that knowledge. Tests should not be limited to multiple choice or true/false questions, but must provide a variety of ways for students to demonstrate what they have learned. PTA believes that the systemic analysis and use of assessment data to guide instruction is a key factor in the improvement of student outcomes and in closing the achievement gap.

Position Statement:
Assessment (Statewide)
Resolution:
Achievement: Eliminating the Gap (2009)
Longitudinal Integrated Statewide Data System (2008)
Student Assessment, Achievement and Accountability (2000)

 

Behavioral Health and Social Emotional Development
PTA believes that greater awareness is needed in understanding issues related to behavioral health and social emotional development. PTA believes such concerns and other external and internal barriers to learning and teaching must include collaboration within the school community. Collaboration is essential in planning and implementing a full range of interventions to promote behavioral health and social emotional development, and provide a systemic approach to prevention, early intervention, and treatment of manifesting problems.

Position Statement:
Behavioral Health and Social Emotional Development
Resolutions:
Increasing Counselor to Student Ratio in Schools (2000)
Mental Illness: Treatment and Support (1999)
Self-Esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility Awareness (1991)
Suicide Prevention Education and Awareness (1983)
Treatment Centers for the Sexually Abused (1978)

 

Categorical Programs
PTA believes in local control of educational decisions when it is in the best interests of students to make these decisions locally, but supports the development and implementation of categorical programs to ensure that the educational needs of all students are addressed. If student needs are to be properly addressed under a system that grants program flexibility to school districts/local schools, the California Department of Education must establish stringent guidelines and accountability standards to ensure that the focus on student learning is maintained and that all children’s educational needs are appropriately served.

Position Statements:
Public Involvement in School Governance

 

Child Abuse
PTA supports building community awareness of the problem of child abuse, encouraging the development of services for abused children and abusers. PTA believes schools, law enforcement, courts and social services agencies should work cooperatively in handling cases of suspected child abuse. PTA supports education and prevention programs to protect children from physical, sexual, verbal, psychological abuse or neglect. PTA supports training for school and law enforcement personnel to enable them to recognize, report and deal with the trauma of an abused child.

Position Statements:
Child Abuse
Child Victims/Witnesses Rights
Resolutions:
Mental Illness: Treatment and Support (1999)
Treatment Centers for the Sexually Abused (1978)

 

Child Care and Before- and After-School Options for Children and Youth
PTA recognizes the need for a wide variety of programs and services to address the diverse child care needs of families throughout the state and the differing needs of children of various ages. The PTA further believes that high quality before- and after-school programs for all children and youth can provide engaging and enriching environments. Employers should be encouraged to adopt policies to help meet the needs of families with children.

Position Statements:
Before- and After-School Options for Children and Youth
Child Care
Resolution:
Support for Quality Child Care (1986)

 

Children With Special Needs
PTA believes that all children with special needs should receive a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment possible. PTA further believes it is essential that state and federal governments appropriate adequate resources to fully fund all mandated special education programs and services.

Position Statements:
Education of English Language Learners
Funding of Mandated Programs: Effect on Public Education
Resolutions:
Attention Deficit Disorder in Children (1998)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Underfunding (2007)
Learning Disabilities and Learning Disabilities in Gifted Children (2000)

 

Choice in Education
PTA believes it is important for parents, educators and community members to acknowledge that no one educational program is best for all students. Parental “choice” may be defined as giving parents the right to select their children’s schools from among a range of possible options. PTA supports parental choice within the public school system based on the academic and individual education needs of students and on consideration for the child care needs of working parents. PTAs should work with school districts in seeking creative ways to provide alternative programs.

Position Statements:
Education: Parental Choice in Public Schools
Charter Schools

 

Civic Mission of Schools
PTA recognizes the importance of understanding the rights and obligations of civic responsibility. PTA supports increased collaboration between schools and communities to promote responsible citizenship, and urges PTA units, councils and districts to be active in registering and encouraging young people to vote.

Resolution:
Support for the Civic Mission of Schools (2006)

 

Class Size Reduction
PTA believes that the introduction of a class size reduction program in grades K-3 is a successful and historic first step in a long-range commitment to the educational needs of the children of California. Successful class size reduction must include a separate physical area to accommodate each group of 20 students and the assigned certificated teacher; flexibility in class structure that may include combination classes; minimal flexibility in class size providing the school-wide average class size reduction is maintained; assignment of teachers who are well-trained; and a firm funding commitment to make reduced class size an ongoing priority.

Position Statement:
Reduced Class Size in Grades K-3
Resolutions:
Class Size Reduction (1996)
Class Size Reduction Flexibility (2005)

 

Computers and Internet Use
PTA encourages parents to be fully aware of their children’s access to the use of computers and the Internet and to assist them in the selection of programs and games to be used in the home or in the classroom. Parents should teach their children how to evaluate what they see and hear, and should frequently monitor programs and games for content. Parents should also be aware of how to effectively supervise and guide their children’s access to appropriate material and to the Internet which can, when properly used, be a fun, safe and effective way for children to gain knowledge and information. PTA opposes Internet sites and computer products that are offensive, that advertise products to children that are hazardous or deceptive, or that coerce or exploit children and youth. PTA supports equal access to technology for all students, including hardware, integrated curriculum, staff training, and funding.

Position Statements:
Mass Media and the Family
Resolutions:
Computer Technology in Education (1983)
Internet Access for California Classrooms (2000)
Online Safeguards for Internet Use by Children and Youth (1997)

 

Delinquency Prevention
PTA supports delinquency prevention programs that include early identification of youth “at risk” and provide the services necessary to support the physical, social, mental and educational development of these children and youth. Such programs should include the utilization of community resources for child and family counseling and the provision of educational assistance necessary to ensure opportunities for success in school.

Position Statements:
Before- and After-School Options for Children and Youth
Character Education
Delinquency Prevention
Prevention and Intervention Programs
Resolutions:
Increasing Counselor to Student Ratio in Schools (2000)
Mental Illness: Treatment and Support (1999)
Student Substance Abuse: Alternatives to Zero Tolerance (2003)

 

Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Planning
PTAs should work with school district personnel and other community agencies in the development, implementation and updating of disaster preparedness and emergency plans. PTAs should work to promote public awareness and provide information on what can be done in case of an emergency. (See Safety and Safety Education.)

Position Statement:
Safe School Environments
Resolutions:
Disaster Preparedness (1986)
Emergency School Bus Evacuation (1973)
Food Safety and Anaphylaxis in Schools (2004)
Threatening Phone Calls to Schools (1990)

 

Domestic Violence
PTA recognizes that children and youth subjected to domestic violence, even if not physically assaulted themselves, may suffer deep and lasting emotional effects and are more likely to continue the cycle of abuse from one generation to the next. PTA urges its units, councils and PTA districts to identify needs and maintain a current listing to inform their members of appropriate services and resources within their communities that provide information and assistance to families involved in domestic violence.

Position Statements:
Assistance to Families in Need
Child Abuse
Family Services
Responsibility of Society to the Family
Resolutions:
Family Preservation: An Alternative to Out-of-Home Placement (1990)
Mental Illness: Treatment and Support (1999)
Violence in the Home (October 1977)

 

Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Abuse Prevention/Intervention and Awareness
PTA believes that awareness, prevention and intervention efforts must involve the home, school and community and that the issue of substance abuse should be addressed through improvement of family communication skills, knowledge of primary education programs, and the development of school and community student assistance programs.

Position Statement:
Prevention and Intervention Programs
Resolutions:
Alcohol and Tobacco Use in Youth: Education, Prevention and Intervention (2002)
Alcohol Beverage Advertising that Targets Minors (1992)
Community Drug Abuse Prevention Programs (1970)
Drug Advertising (1970)
Limiting Concurrent Sales of Gasoline and Alcohol and the Proliferation of Outlets (1985)
Primary Prevention of Substance Abuse (1979)
Social Host Accountability and Underage Drinking (2009)
Student Substance Abuse: Alternatives to Zero Tolerance (2003)
Tobacco Advertising that Targets Youth (1993)

 

Education
PTA believes that children and youth have the right to equal educational opportunities through public education to develop their capabilities to the maximum, and that a closer relationship between the home and school must be established to promote more effective parent participation in the education of children and youth. PTA supports high professional standards for teachers, administrators and school staff, and equal access to a quality curriculum, instructional materials, and facilities for all students. PTA believes that all students are entitled to an equitable education to achieve their potential and become contributors to our global economy. PTA advocates for legislation and public policies that improve academic achievement for all students in order to develop the workforce of the future and to eliminate the achievement gap. Public schools must be a major priority of the people and state of California.

Position Statements:
Basic Education
Character Education
Credentialed School Personnel
Education: Higher Education
Education of English Language Learners
Education: Support of Public Education
Education: The Early Years, Ages 3 to 6
Education: The Elementary Years, Ages 6 to 10
Education: The Middle Years, Ages 10 to 14
Education: The High School Years, Ages 14 to 18
Funding of Mandated Programs: Effect on Public Education
Instructional Materials
Library Services
Public School Employer-Employee Negotiations
Safe School Environments
School Closure
School-to-Career/Technical Education
Special Education
Student Records
Year-Round Education
Resolutions:
Achievement: Eliminating the Gap (2009)
Developmentally Appropriate Physical Education (1999)
Early Childhood Development and Education (2000)
Education: A 21st Century Vision (2005)
Financial Literacy for Youth (1999)
Increasing Counselor to Student Ratio in Schools (2000)
Learning Disabilities and Learning Disabilities in Gifted Children (2000)
School-to-Career for All Students (2001)
Student Assessment, Achievement and Accountability (2000)
Teacher Quality: Recruitment, Retention and Resources (2001)

 

Environmental Protection
PTA believes it is evident that the deteriorating quality of the environment creates conditions that are injurious to health and threaten human survival. PTA recommends that programs be initiated to inform and alert communities about the injurious effects of environmental pollution and that they support the location of toxic/hazardous disposal sites at a safe distance from residential or agricultural areas. PTA encourages schools and communities to implement eco-friendly programs and practices. PTA further encourages school districts to implement and emphasize education code provisions that state students shall receive instruction concerning the environment so they will value natural resources and learn how to protect these resources.

Position Statements:
Energy Conservation
Environmental Health and Environmental Education
Lead Poisoning
Resolutions:
Comprehensive Waste Reduction in Schools (2007)
Hazardous Waste Management (1980)
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in Schools (2007)
Protection of Children from the Harmful Effects of Aircraft Emissions (1998)
Toxins (Persistent and Bioaccumulative) and Their Effects on Children (2002)

 

Family Life Education/Family Planning
PTA believes the primary responsibility for family life/sex education belongs in the home. PTA also believes schools have a responsibility to provide education programs that offer preparation for family living, including medically accurate, age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education and HIV/STD prevention education. PTAs have a responsibility to see that qualified people are trained to plan and implement these programs. PTA also believes all people seeking family planning guidance should be able to receive services compatible with their beliefs and needs. PTA is concerned for maternal and child health and responsible parenthood necessary for the creation of a secure family atmosphere.

Position Statements:
Family Planning
Health Care Access for Children, Youth, Pregnant Women and Their Families
Prevention of Teen Pregnancy
Resolution:
HIV/STD Prevention Education in Our Schools (2008)

 

Firearm Safety
PTA supports state and federal restrictions on firearms that would require a waiting period and background check on those purchasing firearms, outlaw military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, require firearms offered for sale or transfer be equipped with a child-proof trigger lock, and ban the sale of “Saturday night specials” (handguns) and the sale of firearm ammunition that is armor-piercing. PTA also supports firearm safety awareness and education programs including risks of unsecured firearms in the home, and the availability and proper use of trigger locks and other safety devices, and regulations supporting state certified courses in appropriate firearms use and safety practices including proper storage. PTA supports state and federal legislation and/or regulations that require all handgun owners to hold a periodically renewed license that includes a hands-on proficiency test in order to purchase, receive or possess a handgun and at all instances of transfer of ownership.

Position Statements:
Toy Look-Alike Guns
Resolutions:
Ban on the Manufacture and Sale of Saturday Night Specials/Junk Guns (1997)
Firearm Safety Devices (1999)
Licensing and Registration of Handguns (2000)

 

Foster Families
PTA promotes an awareness of the need for more trained foster families, kinship care and guardianship in the dependency system. PTA supports legislation providing kinship care with the same remuneration as non-kinship foster care and increased reimbursement to foster and kinship foster families. PTA supports the continuance of youth aged 18 in foster or kinship care or guardianship until completion of high school and the development of a support network for adult children leaving the foster care system transitioning into independent living, including higher education opportunities.

Position Statement:
Education: Higher Education
Resolution:
Foster Families (1999)

 

Gangs
PTA recognizes the harmful impact of gangs on our children, youth, and communities. Education is the first and most important step in awareness of gangs and gang activities. PTA promotes educational programs that enable parents and school personnel to identify potential gang affiliation and work aggressively to protect and discourage their children from gang involvement. PTA believes that good human relations, fostering individual and intergroup respect, understanding and appreciation, must be an important force in working toward prevention and solution of problems in schools and communities.

Position Statements:
Character Education
Delinquency Prevention
Gang Awareness
Human Relations
Inclusiveness and Diversity
Prevention and Intervention Programs
Safe School Environments
Resolutions:
School Absenteeism/Dropouts (1996)
Strategies to Reduce School, Family and Community Violence (1995)
Violence Prevention in Schools (1999)

 

Health
PTA understands the importance of good health (nutritional, physical, mental, psychological and social well-being) to a child’s quality of life and believes it is necessary for the optimum physical, behavioral and intellectual development of each individual. PTA believes the home, school and community each bear responsibility for the health of all children and youth.

Position Statements:
Behavioral Health and Social Emotional Development
Chronic Illness Care in California Public Schools
Health Education
Nutrition Education
Physical Education (K-12)
Resolutions:
Antibiotic Resistance Awareness (2001)
Breakfast in Every School (2003)
Credentialed School Nurses (2005)
Healthy Lifestyles for All Children (2004)
Mental Illness: Treatment and Support (1999)
Sun Safety: Skin Cancer Prevention Measures at School (2005)

 

Health Care Access for Children, Youth and Pregnant Women
PTA understands the importance of good health to a child’s quality of life. PTA believes that all children, youth and pregnant women are equally entitled to appropriate, confidential and timely health care. PTA recognizes that basic preventive health care can prevent permanent disability or lengthy remediation and supports efforts to provide equal access to quality, affordable, basic preventive health care for all children, youth and pregnant women.

Position Statement:
Health Care Access for Children, Youth, Pregnant Women and Their Families
Resolutions:
Credentialed School Nurses (2005)
Increased School Nurse to Student Ratios (1997)

 

Juvenile Justice
PTA supports a juvenile justice system that emphasizes rehabilitation of juveniles and holds offenders accountable and responsible for their actions. PTA recognizes the need for community-based programs to help solve the problems of status offenders.

Position Statements:
Juvenile Offenders in the Justice System
Status Offenders
Resolution:
Juvenile Justice Reform – A Priority (1983)

 

Juveniles’ Names in the Media
PTA supports laws that prohibit disclosure to the news media of names of juveniles subject to legal proceedings due to arrest.

Resolution:
Use by Mass News Media of Names of Juveniles in Police Matters (1971)

 

Mass Media
PTA believes parents and the mass media each have a responsibility to provide enriching experiences for children and youth. Producers of mass media have a responsibility to consider how their messages, images and products affect children and youth. Parents are encouraged to guide their children in the choice of all media products, teach their children how to evaluate what they see and hear, and inform proper authorities when it appears that federal, state or local laws prohibiting the sale/distribution of obscene/pornographic materials to minors are being violated.

Position Statements:
Mass Media and the Family
Resolutions:
Admission of Minors to R-Rated Films (1981)
Online Safeguards for Internet Use by Children and Youth (1997)
Opposition to Televised Commercials in California Classrooms (1990)
Quality of Life Portrayed on Television (1979)
Television Literacy and Program Accountability (1993)

 

Missing and Exploited Children
PTA supports funding and operation of information centers that provide multi-jurisdictional coordination of efforts to find missing children. PTA believes law enforcement should be required to respond immediately to take the steps necessary to locate missing minors, and supports stringent punishment for perpetrators of serious crimes against children and youth. PTA supports raising awareness among parents and the public about the issue of missing and exploited children.

Position Statement:
Missing and Exploited Children
Resolution:
Child Trafficking in California (2010)
Promoting the Inclusion of Nonpublic Schools on California’s Megan’s Law Registered Sex Offender Database (2008)

 

Nutrition Education
PTA believes it is important to promote healthy lifestyles and positive attitudes about nutrition in children and adults. Adequate nutrition is necessary for the optimum physical, behavioral and intellectual development of each individual. PTA believes that everyone benefits from nutrition education and access to nutrition information through curriculum, parent and community nutrition education programs, and community collaboration. PTA believes school lunch program availability should be promoted and supports legislative efforts to improve nutrition standards in schools. PTA has consistently supported school breakfast and lunch programs and urges school districts to maximize state and federal funds so that all children may have access to nutritious meals.

Position Statement:
Nutrition Education
Resolutions:
Breakfast in Every School (2003)
Healthy Lifestyles for All Children (2004)
Nutrition Education (1991)
School Nutrition Programs: Improvement and Expansion (1991)

 

Parent Involvement
PTA believes that parents are children’s first teachers, and that parent involvement is essential throughout a child’s education experience. All children and youth should have the opportunity to develop their abilities to their fullest potential, and research has shown that greater parental involvement in children’s education results in higher levels of student achievement. Involved parents bring skills in parenting, advocacy, communication, learning support, and volunteerism to promote the well-being of their children. Involved parents make good citizens and participate in the community both as advisors and decision makers to promote the well-being of all children and their families. PTA can help bring families and schools together. Schools have a role to play as well. PTA believes that school practices to promote involvement through outreach, programs/operations, engagement, community building, and support services have a statistically significant and direct influence on student success and involvement.

Position Statements:
Education: Support of Public Education
School-Based Decision Making
Resolution:
Achievement: Eliminating the Gap (2009)

 

Parenting Education
PTA believes that parents, guardians and all adults responsible for the nurturing of children should be prepared to exert a constructive influence on the development of children in their care. PTAs have the responsibility to offer parenting education programs/information to their members and to the community at large.

Position Statement:
Parenting Education and Skills Development

 

Preschool
PTA supports efforts to ensure that all children have opportunities to attend high-quality developmentally appropriate preschool programs, to develop readiness skills they need to become successful academic learners and to close the achievement gap.

Position Statements:
Basic Education
Education: The Early Years, Ages 3 to 6
Resolutions:
Education: A 21st Century Vision (2005)
Early Childhood Development and Education (2000)

 

Professional Development
PTA believes that ongoing, relevant professional development programs are essential for all school personnel in order to provide a quality education and learning environment for all children, and to answer the professional needs of the individual and the individual school site. Professional development should enable teachers and administrators to work effectively with all parents/guardians and with service providers to meet the needs of our diverse student population. PTA supports a longer instructional school year and instructional school day to provide increased time for both professional development and for student-teacher contact/instructional time.

Position Statement:
Credentialed School Personnel
Resolutions:
Education: A 21st Century Vision (2005)
Teacher Quality: Recruitment, Retention and Resources (2001)

 

Safety and Safety Education
PTAs have a responsibility to identify safety hazards in the home, school and in the community. PTAs should promote family and community awareness of safety issues and provide information on safe practices.

Position Statements:
Before- and After-School Options for Children and Youth
Gang Awareness
Lead Poisoning
Safe School Environments
School Bus Safety
Toy Look-Alike Guns
Resolutions:
Background Checks for Ice Cream Truck Vendors (1986)
Ban on the Manufacture and Sale of Saturday Night Specials/Junk Guns (1997)
Bicycle Safety Helmets (1991)
Disaster Preparedness (1986)
Firearm Safety and Awareness (1995)
Firearm Safety Devices (1999)
Fireworks: Hazards to Youth (1990)
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis in Schools (2004)
Mitigating Earthquake Hazards in Public Schools (1989)
Online Safeguards for Internet Use by Children and Youth (1997)
Playground Equipment Safety Standards (1996)
Playground Surface Safety (2002)
Regulation of Liquor Licenses Near Schools (1997)
Safe Routes to School for All  Children (2008)
Safety Helmets for Scooter, Skateboard and Skate Users under the Age of 18 (2001)
School Buildings and Railroad Safety Requirements (1990)
School Bus Safety (1993)
School Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Improvement (2001)
Seat Belt and Child Restraint Usage (1983)
Strategies to Reduce School, Family and Community Violence (1995)
Sun Safety: Skin Cancer Prevention Measures at School (2005)
Teen Driving (2009)
Violence Prevention in Schools (1999)

 

School Attendance
PTA encourages parents, students, school district governing boards, school staff and communities to work together to develop school attendance policies regarding absenteeism, truancy and suspensions. For chronic truants, PTA urges the establishment of educational alternatives, counseling centers and in-school suspensions. PTA encourages school districts to utilize School Attendance Review Boards (SARBs), whose purpose is, through the coordinated efforts of schools and community agencies, to divert students with school-related problems from the juvenile justice system.

Position Statements:
Delinquency Prevention
Juvenile Offenders in the Justice System
Prevention and Intervention Programs
Safe School Environments
Status Offenders
Resolutions:
Attention Deficit Disorder in Children (1998)
School Absenteeism/Dropouts (1986)
Student Substance Abuse: Alternatives to Zero Tolerance (2003)
Violence Prevention in Schools (1999)

 

School-Based Health Clinics
PTA believes that access to quality health care is essential to sound health practices and recognizes that adolescents as a group are the most under-served population in terms of health care. School-based and school-linked health centers give young people access to health care they might otherwise not have. PTA believes that local community support is the key to the success of any school-based or school-linked health center, and that parent and student involvement should be a major part of the planning.

Position Statement:
School-Based/Linked Health Centers
Resolutions:
Credentialed School Nurses (2005)
Increased School Nurse to Student Ratios (1997)

 

School Discipline
PTA believes that every child is entitled to a safe and peaceful school environment. Schools must provide orderly, empowering, nonviolent surroundings with clear behavioral expectations, and discipline policies that are fairly and consistently administered, and that recognize positive behavior. PTA further believes in preventive discipline that fosters positive social interaction, encourages strong bonding within families, and creates attachments within the community. School personnel must involve students, parents, and community members in the development and implementation of discipline policies that create a safe and peaceful school environment. Early intervention programs in school and in the community, through coordinated efforts of law enforcement and social service agencies, are needed to end alienation that often leads to anti-social and criminal behavior.

Position Statements:
Delinquency Prevention
Safe School Environments
Status Offenders
Resolutions:
Student Substance Abuse: Alternatives to Zero Tolerance (2003)
Violence Prevention in Schools (1999)

 

School Finance
PTA believes adequately financing our public schools, including programs, staffing and facilities, is necessary to ensure a quality education for all students. The determination of an adequate level of funding and resources for public schools must be a top priority for PTA and community members and policymakers at every level of government. PTA strongly supports Proposition 98, California’s constitutional guarantee of minimum state funding for public schools. PTA also supports ongoing efforts to explore new models of public school funding that would ensure a quality education for every student.

Position Statement:
Education: Higher Education
Education: Support of Public Education
Resolutions:
Adequate and Equitable State School Finance System (1987)
Equalized Base Revenue Limit Funding (1991)
Financing California’s Public Schools (2007)
School Funding (1981)
School Transportation (1981)
School Transportation: Equitable Funding (2004)
Support of Public Education, PTA Priority (1980)

 

School-to-Work/Career
PTA believes all students must have equal access to an education that meets the needs of today’s high-skill, high-technology workplace. A broad-based School-to-Work/Career or Linked Learning (Multiple Pathways) program prepares all students for lifelong learning and successful transitions to career and advanced education. Students need academically rigorous instructional programs as well as opportunities to apply their academic and technical skills to the world of work. School-to-Work/Career or Linked Learning programs should promote mastery of both academic and career performance standards to enable all students to make informed career decisions.

Position Statement:
School-to-Career Technical Education
Resolution:
Achievement: Eliminating the Gap (2009)
Education: A 21st Century Vision (2005)
School-to-Career for All Students (2001)

 

School Violence and Vandalism: Prevention and Accountability
PTA encourages parents, students, school district governing boards, school staff and communities to provide information regarding indicators and circumstances that may lead to school violence, and to work together to develop preventive programs that create a safe and peaceful school environment. PTA supports the availability of adequate counseling and other support services in the schools. PTA believes that offenders must be held accountable for their actions, and that victims should receive restitution.

Position Statements:
Delinquency Prevention
Gang Awareness
Inclusiveness and Diversity
Juvenile Offenders in the Justice System
Safe School Environments
Status Offenders
Resolutions:
Strategies to Reduce School, Family and Community Violence (1995)
Violence and Vandalism (1980)
Violence Prevention in Schools (1999)

 

Suicide Prevention Education and Awareness
PTA believes that in order for parents to engage in efforts to prevent suicide attempts, it is useful to become familiar with some of the characteristics associated with suicide, which may or may not be direct causes. Suicide prevention plans should involve the support of families, schools, and communities working together as part of a comprehensive coordinated school health system that considers resiliency and youth development assets in pursuit of the goal of preventing suicide attempts.

Position Statements:
Behavioral Health and Social Emotional Development
Safe School Environments
Resolutions:
Student Substance Abuse: Alternatives to Zero Tolerance (2003)
Mental Illness: Treatment and Support (1999)
Suicide Prevention Education and Awareness (1983)

 

Television Programming
PTA opposes censorship of the media. However, PTA believes the First Amendment was not designed to protect the economic interests of broadcasters or advertisers. According to the Federal Communications Act, it is the responsibility of station owners/management to provide programming in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” PTA urges parents to communicate their concerns about programming to broadcasters.

Position Statement:
Television Programming
Resolutions:
Television Literacy and Program Accountability (1993)
Opposition to Televised Commercials in California Classrooms (1990)

 

Television Viewing
PTA believes it is necessary to develop an aware viewing public able to understand the explicit and implicit messages in television programs and commercials, and that TV viewing skills should be included in the K-12 curriculum. PTA encourages parents to watch TV with their children. PTA urges members to monitor TV programs and communicate suggestions/concerns to TV stations, networks, cable TV broadcasters and sponsors, and urges members to commend programs acceptable for family viewing.

Position Statements:
Mass Media and the Family
Resolution:
Television Literacy and Program Accountability (1993)

 

Vouchers
PTA opposes vouchers, tuition tax credits or other education-related expenses for students that would divert public funds to private or parochial elementary and secondary schools. PTA believes these funding methods would have a detrimental effect on our public school system, and do not provide the means for bringing about improvement in public schools. PTA supports our system of public education as the major vehicle for perpetuating the basic values of a democratic system of government, and believes all levels of government, including local, state and federal, must share in providing adequate funding for public schools.

Position Statements:
Education: Opposing Vouchers, Tuition Tax Credits and Deductions as Systems of Education Aid
Education: Support of Public Education
Resolution:
Tuition Tax Credits (1982)

 

Youth Involvement
PTA supports youth involvement within its governance and activities, believing that youth provide valuable insights on issues and programs that affect them, and supports meaningful youth involvement with state, regional and local government, and public and private agencies and organizations.

Resolution:
Youth Involvement (2004)

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