INDIVIDUAL POSITION STATEMENTS
Oklahoma PTA Position Statements are official documents outlining the opinion, will, or intent of the association to address problems, situations, or concerns that affect children and youth in Oklahoma and require statewide action to seek resolution on the issue.
Support for One Cent Sales Tax Increase (Adopted Nov 2015)
Whereas, Oklahoma PTA believes that every child must be provided with a well-rounded, high-quality education, which will ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential and become productive members of society. Access to a free public education is the most effective method of securing this opportunity, and should not be denied to any child. Oklahoma PTA believes that funding for education and other programs should be a top priority for Oklahoma children because these programs are investments for the future.
Currently, Oklahoma is ranked 49th in the nation in teacher pay and is ranked lowest in the region. Oklahoma ranks 44th in the nation for per pupil expenditures. Higher teacher salaries in neighboring states make it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain top talent in our public schools. As the 2015-2016 school year began, teachers seeking higher compensation relocated or sought other professions causing a shortage of 1,000 teachers. This triggered a record number of emergency teacher certifications issued in this year alone. Oklahoma PTA believes that public schools must offer competitive salaries to attract and retain highly qualified teachers within the State of Oklahoma.
Therefore, Oklahoma PTA supports the one-cent state sales tax increase which includes common education, higher education, career and technology education, and early childhood education.
ACT Exam for Graduation or Subject Mastery Requirements (Adopted Feb 25, 2013)
Oklahoma PTA supports using the American College Testing exam (ACT) for the purpose of proving subject mastery in the areas of English, Mathematics, Science, and Reading Comprehension as an optional replacement to end of instruction examinations (EOI).
Charter Schools (Adopted Feb 25, 2013)
Oklahoma PTA opposes the creation of any charter schools that would divert public funds from non-charter public schools.
Oklahoma PTA believes that Public Charter Schools must be legally organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization not affiliated with non-public sectarian, religious, or home-based school organizations.
Oklahoma PTA opposes funding options that would take away from any funding sources otherwise appropriated for public schools and public instruction and be instead used for private or for-profit charter schools.
Gun and School Safety (Adopted Feb 25, 2013)
School safety is a critical priority for all parents, educators, students, and community members that cannot be taken for granted. We must make every attempt to reduce violence – especially incidents that involve firearms. Oklahoma PTA recognizes the importance of parent involvement in the decision-making process in the development and implementation of school policies, including crisis response plans.
Oklahoma PTA encourages Safe School Committees to also include parents that are not school district employees.
Oklahoma PTA, along with National PTA, believes that in order to achieve an effective school climate, schools must be completely gun-free.
Oklahoma PTA, along with National PTA, further support:
--Universal background checks for the sale and possession of firearms;
--A ban on non-sporting ammunition in high-capacity magazines; and
--The reenactment and expansion of an effective federal ban on the sale and possession of military-style assault weapons.
Reading Sufficiency Act (Adopted Feb 25, 2013)
Whereas, Oklahoma PTA believes that valid assessment does not consist of only a single test score, and that at no time should a single test be considered the sole determinant of a student’s academic or work future:
Oklahoma PTA opposes the current “Reading Sufficiency Act” also known as “RSA” or “3rd grade retention law.”
Although we acknowledge that policy alternatives to social promotion and grade retention must be established, we do not support student retention based on a single test or sole criterion.
Oklahoma PTA believes parental involvement in decisions and in any process establishing policies is fundamental for student and school success. The “Reading Sufficiency Act” does not allow for parental input or a voice in their students’ education.
The “Reading Sufficiency Act” should be amended so that student assessment does not consist of a single test and includes parental involvement in the process.
School Accountability System (A-F Report Card) (Adopted Feb 25, 2013)
Oklahoma PTA supports a fair and unbiased accountability system that empowers parents with data that accurately reflects all students in the school and school district for the purposes of encouraging increased parent involvement and continuous improvement based on solid education methodologies.
Oklahoma PTA opposes financial penalties for schools and districts that receive low-performance ratings but encourages increased resources in the areas of funding for researched-based methods of improvement, professional development for teachers and administrators, and/or improved parent-teacher communication.
School Choice (Adopted 25, 2013)
Oklahoma PTA supports educational choices within public schools and believes that parents should be involved in the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of public school choice plans.
Oklahoma PTA opposes any private school choice proposal and/or voucher system that diverts public funds to private or sectarian schools virtual schools, and/or homeschool programs.
Oklahoma PTA believes home schools and other nonpublic schools should meet the same educational standards as public schools.
Parent Empowerment Act (Adopted Feb 25, 2013)
Whereas, Oklahoma Statutes currently provide opportunities for parents to overhaul an underperforming school:
Oklahoma PTA opposes current legislation of the “Parent Empowerment Act.” Although we support legislation that empowers parents to be engaged in their child’s education and is reflective of community interest, prioritizes student achievement, and builds systemic and sustainable family-school partnerships; we oppose any measure that would divert public funds from public schools, turn public schools into private corporations, or disjoin parents, teachers and/or communities with one another.
Oklahoma PTA supports the concept of shared responsibility in the development of school policies and in curriculum decisions. PTA urges all school boards to cooperate with parents, teachers, students, principals, administrators, businesses, civic and community leaders, and the general public in this process.
Oklahoma PTA recognizes the importance of parent involvement in the decision-making process in the development and implementation of school policies, including administrative appointments within the school site and/or school district in the event of necessary restructuring for the betterment of the educational atmosphere for all children.
Oklahoma PTA supports providing ongoing support to build the capacity of school leadership and personnel to meaningful partners with parents, families, and the community using research-based family engagement strategies and programming to positively impact student achievement. All decision-makers should be informed and trained regarding process, responsibilities, and issues in the areas of open parent communication, school policy, and socio-economic factors within the community.