Advocacy: Florida PTA Position Statements
The Florida Parent Teacher Association is the largest statewide volunteer organization working exclusively on behalf of children and youth. Founded in 1921 as a branch of the 6 million member National PTA, Florida PTA is made up of approximately 1,400 local units with more than 300,000 Florida members seeking to unite home, school and community for all children.
Part of the National PTA’s threefold mission is to speak on behalf of all children and youth before governmental bodies and other organizations. For over 100 years, PTA volunteers have used their time, energy, experience and knowledge to bring about changes in laws, policies and programs for the benefit of children. (Click Here to learn about our history.)
In order to maintain a nonprofit status under federal rules, the Florida PTA is nonpartisan and works to direct its efforts at members of all political parties in order to enact change. When PTA officers or lobbyists participate in legislative activities that educate lawmakers about officially adopted PTA positions, or support a particular piece of legislation that is in agreement with the PTA Legislative Program, it is done on a strictly nonpartisan basis.
CHARTER SCHOOLS / VIRTUAL SCHOOLS PTA supports public school choice and acknowledges public charter schools as one of many avenues to improving student achievement. Florida PTA supports the creation of charter schools based on a set of principles that are designed to keep the integrity of public schools intact. Charter schools (including full-time virtual schools) must • Establish a level playing field in areas of fiscal responsibility, accountability and student enrollment. • Require funding to follow the student when transferring between charter and the traditional public school during the school year. • Ensure staff are certified for their positions • Involve parents in decision-making processes
Early Childhood Education
Florida PTA urges the legislature to support and fully fund high-quality child care and preschool programs that are affordable and accessible, coordinated at all levels (federal, state, and local), and characterized by high standards for teaching, training, health, and safety.
Florida PTA urges the Legislature to fully fund strategies and programs that ensure the health, safety and education of the children of Florida.
Health & Safety
PHYSICAL EDUCATION/REDUCING CHILDHOOD OBESITY
Florida PTA urges the legislature to support daily physical education programs taught by certified PE teachers as an integral part of every child’s education and to support efforts to improve the nutritional value of foods and beverages served and sold in schools throughout the state.
“If obesity among children continues to increase, our current generation will become the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents.” – The American Heart Association
PTA supports policies and programs that address the prevention, intervention, and elimination of bullying.
PTA supports the adoption and enforcement of laws that will deter the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of children for the purpose of exploitation. PTA further urges the legislature to protect the rights of victims and support efforts to provide for the physical, psychological, and social recovery of victims of child trafficking; as well as to address those conditions and situations that contribute to child trafficking.
High Stakes Testing
Florida PTA opposes the use of a national, mandated, standardized test as the sole criterion for measuring a school or student’s progress. PTA believes that student assessments should identify how instruction and learning can be improved. Assessments should be used to help parents and teachers determine the specific academic needs of students and increase opportunities for student learning.
Confidentiality Of School Records
PTA is conscious of the threat to privacy inherent in the growth of data bank systems and in the abuse of records initially considered private information. PTA is particularly concerned about unrestrained access to school records.
Florida PTA opposes any changes to a traditional public school by converting to a charter school run by a for-profit management company.