Legislative Priorities

Each year the Kentucky PTA legislative team reviews the issues that we will focus on during the upcoming legislative session. Using both the adopted Kentucky PTA and National PTA legislative platforms and resolutions as a reference and considering the needs in Kentucky, the legislative team drafts proposed priorities to present to the state board of directors. The board votes on these suggested priorities at the fall board meeting. Upon adoption, the priorities are delivered to each Kentucky legislator at the beginning of the yearly session. They are also shared with our many partners in education and health and safety.

FUNDING:

  1. Maintain or increase funding for adequate P-12 public school education
  2. Oppose any vouchers or tax credits
  3. Support tax reform to increase public school funding
  4. Increase funding for the development for early childhood education programs (pending research on Kindergarten)
  5. Increase funding for infrastructure vital to education (roads, bridges, high-speed internet, stable electricity, safe school buildings)
  6. Continue funding for PPE and essential supplies and equipment for schools under the duress of the pandemic.

PENSION:

  1. Kentucky schools must attract and retain the highest-quality teachers and school leaders possible in order to advance student achievement. High-quality professionals want a competitive salary and benefits that include a secure retirement and healthcare they can depend on.

SCHOOL BASED DECISION-MAKING COUNCILS (SBDMs):

  1. Oppose any reduction in authority and/or dismantling of School Based Decision-Making Councils (SBDM) in schools, which includes parent engagement.

CHARTER SCHOOLS:

  1. In order to prevent any service reductions and maintain equity, public schools must not divert funding from non-charter public schools.
  2. Charter schools must ensure access for all children, be free of tuition and be reflective of district population.
  3. Charter schools must be subject to the same assessment, accountability standards, and certification as non-charter public schools.
  4. Charter schools must adhere to the service standards for students with special needs (IEP, 504 plans), including which entity is to be the local education agency (LEA) responsible for providing these services and how they are to be funded.
  5. Charter schools must meaningfully engage parents in transparent authorizing, review, and any decision making processes, including the involvement of at least two parents on all levels of charter boards, and create a SBDM at each Charter School.

HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE:

  1. Support legislation that protects children from loaded firearms through proper storage, firearm regulations, and safety awareness.
  2. Support legislation that strengthens prevention efforts in child abuse and neglect.
  3. Support legislation that will maintain the Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Programs (SNAP), so students don’t lose free school meals or access to healthier food options for those students who qualify.
  4. Support legislation to require each district to create their own emergency long-term closure response plans including (but not limited to) providing network connectivity; increased mental health services centering on the effects of isolation and depression, food services; unconventional instruction; Individualized Education Program, 504, and Gifted and Talented service accommodations; guardian education into the provided services, and a safe avenue of return to conventional instruction.
  5. Support legislation that would acknowledge and address the impact of institutional racism on students and families of color.

SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS:

  1. Parents should never fear sending their children to school
  2. students should always feel safe in their learning environment.
  3. Oppose any reduction in authority and/or dismantling of School Based Decision Making Councils (SBDM) in schools, which includes parent engagement.
  4. Kentucky PTA supports maximum legislative financial support for operation, maintenance and construction of tax- supported schools.
    1. Provide adequate funding for all P-12 public schools to insure an adequate and equitable educational system.
    2. Provide full funding for:
      • All mandated educational programs
      • Family Resource and Youth Service Centers
      • Public school transportation
      • Safe construction and renovation of public school buildings
      • Appropriations to meet the needs of the special education, gifted, English language learners and the educationally challenged and at risk students
      • Full day kindergarten with classrooms at a pupil-teacher ratio of no more than twenty to one (20:1) with fully funded transportation for all districts that choose to have a full day kindergarten program
      • Development of early childhood education programs
      • Legislative and financial support for expanded career, vocational, and school to work programs
      • Provisions for expansion of summer school programs, extended school services, and year round school
  5. Kentucky PTA supports equitable sources of new revenue for public schools.
    1. Local tax efforts as provided for in Kentucky State Law and other initiatives.
    2. The proper assessment and collection of all due taxes.
    3. Promotes and supports equitable sources of new revenue for public schools.
  6. In order to ensure adequate funds are available for public education Kentucky PTA opposes:
    1. Direct or indirect use of public funds for non-public schools i.e. private schools, home schooling, charter schools including transportation.
    2. Any form of tuition tax credits or voucher system.
  7. Kentucky PTA supports legislation and financial support for the efficient administration of public schools.
    1. A non-partisan State Board of Education.
    2. High professional scale of salaries for teachers and classified staff.
    3. Legislation that will provide adequate funding for teacher professional development.
    4. The enactment of incentive programs to enhance learning for schools.
    5. Adequate funding for additional counselors in all schools at all levels.
    6. Adequate funding for Kentucky administrators, teachers, and classified staff.
  8. Kentucky PTA supports legislation, rules and regulations to ensure local control within each school district.
    1. Strongly supports parental involvement in all levels of decision-making in schools.
    2. Procedures to insure intervention in those local school districts where state standards are not maintained.
    3. Procedures to insure intervention in those local school districts where district policies are not maintained.
    4. Opposes censorship of textbooks, teaching materials and library materials.
    5. School district reorganization and/or consolidation, when necessary to provide adequate education.
  9. Kentucky PTA supports legislation and funding for health, welfare, recreation and cultural arts services for children and youth.
    1. The enforcement of immunization laws for all Kentucky school children.
    2. Full funding for health services in schools including school nurses.
    3. Continued federal and state aid for the school lunch program. Development and operation of library and media programs.
    4. Tax deductions for businesses that make allowable contributions to schools, with school board or school based-decision council approval.
    5. Protect and conserve natural resources, including public parks and protection of the environment.
    6. Legislation designed to increase dissemination of information and services for voluntary family planning and education pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases and the prevention of teenage pregnancies.
    7. Legislation that would authorize AIDS research, education programs and information dissemination.
    8. Funding and implementation of programs in art, music, dance, drama and physical education in public schools.
    9. Legislation to increase physical activity for K-12 students during school day.
    10. Supports expanding legislation of arts education and core requirements for a high quality comprehensive education.
  10. Kentucky PTA promotes and supports legislation and funding for protective services for children and youth.
    1. Well-funded state, national and local programs for the prevention of juvenile delinquency.
    2. The separation of the dependent child from the delinquent child.
    3. The separation of juveniles from adults, when under institutional care.
    4. The enforcement of current state and federal child labor laws and the opposition to lowering the work age.
    5. Adoption laws and procedures designed to protect the welfare of children.
    6. Legislation and funding for the protection and treatment of sexually abused children.
    7. The strengthening of existing laws and enforcement procedures designed to deter sales and distribution of narcotics, hallucinogens, and other dangerous drugs among children and youth.
    8. Provide funding for the enforcement of laws designed to protect minors from tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes.
    9. Strengthen of existing laws and enforcement of sales and distribution of alcohol to minors.
    10. Legislation would require companies to place warning labels on energy drinks and would prohibit the direct targeting of children in marketing.
    11. Legislation establishing treatment facilities, research and evaluation programs for children and youth of addictive substance behaviors.
    12. Legislation and funding that supports alternative educational programs and/or schools for students who cannot function in the regular school setting.
    13. Legislation and funding that supports different styles of learning to meet the needs of all children i.e. Performing Arts, Magnet, Montessori, and Traditional Schools.
    14. Improve enforcement of safety laws and strengthen traffic laws to protect Kentucky youth.
    15. Legislation regulating the sale of firearms.
    16. Legislation to protect children from loaded guns.
    17. Funding of continued programs and databases that will assist in locating missing children.
    18. Laws that will protect and educate children with regard to child predators, and social media.
    19. Provide treatment for the psychologically and emotionally exploited child.
  11. Kentucky PTA promotes and supports legislation that improves the quality of education.
    1. Legislation and funding for dropout prevention at all levels.
    2. Funding to support the technology needs of schools.
    3. Full funding for textbooks, computers, and instructional materials needed to run effective schools.
    4. Legislation that includes parents/legal guardians as equal partners in education.
    5. Legislation that mandates parent teacher conference days statewide.
    6. Community involvement to improve student achievement.
Communicating with Elected Officials
Children’s Advocacy Day at the Capitol