Seat Belt Safety (Adopted January 25, 2020)
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health: motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Oklahoma teens ages 15-19; a properly worn seat belt (both lap and shoulder belt) reduces the risk of serious or fatal injury during a crash by over 50%; and more than half of Oklahomans killed in a motor vehicle crash were not using a seat belt.
Oklahoma PTA supports seat belt utilization for passengers of all ages related to vehicles used for personal or public transportation.
Repeal Revenue (April 14, 2018)
Oklahoma PTA opposes any effort to repeal revenue measures passed to support teacher raises and increases in public school funding.
Approved April 14th, 2018
Oklahoma PTA Board of Director
Teacher Led Initiatives (Adopted March 11, 2018)
Whereas, the Oklahoma State Legislature has continually failed to pass revenue measures which would provide Oklahoma teachers with pay raises and adequately fund education;
Whereas, low pay is the number one reason Oklahoma teachers quit the profession;
Whereas, Oklahoma schools had 536 teaching vacancies, 480 teaching positions were eliminated, and 1,917 emergency teaching certificates were approved in 2017-2018;
Oklahoma PTA supports Teacher Led Initiatives to promote awareness of critical educational funding issues, including teacher salary increases and public school funding, directed toward the Oklahoma State Legislature.
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.
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.
School Choice (Adopted Feb. 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.
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.
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).
Reading Sufficiency (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.
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.
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.
STATE QUESTION 758 – PROPERTY TAX ROLLBACK PROPOSAL (Adopted 2011)
Because funding for education in Oklahoma is based on ad valorem revenue (taxes placed on real property), and the proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution, SQ758, would result in reduction in funding and adversely affect children in schools in Oklahoma in areas such as instruction, curriculum and facilities, the Oklahoma PTA proclaims its opposition to State Question 758 support for Ad Valorem Reform
CHILDHOOD OBESITY (Adopted January 2004)
Since it began, the Oklahoma Congress of Parents and Teachers has worked to secure adequate laws to insure the welfare of children and youth.
Oklahoma’s childhood obesity rates are soaring, causing our children to be in danger of experiencing major health consequences. In Oklahoma 15% of youth between 12 and 19 are obese, a 300% increase during the past 20 years. Overweight children are at increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes, which can cause blindness, heart and kidney disease and loss of limbs. Elevated blood pressure, which is often associated with coronary heart disease, is more common in obese children. Approximately 50% of children and adolescents who are obese will become obese adults.
The Oklahoma Congress of Parents and Teachers urges its members at all levels to monitor, support, and advocate for laws, regulations, and programs dealing with this critical health issue affecting our children and their future.
CHOICE (Adopted 1991)
In the current wave of educational reform the concept of “CHOICE” is receiving a great deal of attention and support as a method of improving the quality of education. One example of a “choice” plan would include the use of educational vouchers.
As parents and teachers, we presently enjoy a great deal of “choice” without realizing it. While we will always support informed choices in the best interests of the children of Oklahoma and their families, the current “CHOICE” concept is complex and potentially capable of advancing a system where public funds could be used for private, parochial and home school voucher as well as creating other inequities.
It is for this reason that THE OKLAHOMA PTA OPPOSES AND “CHOICE” PLAN WHICH WOULD:
Use public funds for private, parochial or home school vouchers.
Fail to guarantee and excellent education for those students who do not, or can not, “choose”.
Fail to guarantee equal access.
Cause any public school to become unable to compete as a result of student and financial loss.
Lead to segregation by race, socio-economic class or disability.
OKLAHOMA COMMON SCHOOL EDUCATION (Adopted 1989)
The Oklahoma Congress of Parents and Teachers has consistently supported and often initiated efforts to provide a quality public school education for all school-age children in Oklahoma. Our efforts, along with the efforts of other concerned Oklahomans, must be increased so the present school education crisis in Oklahoma will be addressed.
The Oklahoma Congress of parents and Teachers urges and the Governor and State Legislature to implement a plan that provides adequate funding and accountability standards to ensure an appropriate and equitable education for all Oklahoma children and youth. This plan should include, but may not be limited to, adequate resources to provide all children attending public school with the necessary textbooks, sufficient funding to guarantee availability of required and appropriate library and instructional materials to support curricula that will prepare all Oklahoma children and youth for the future, class-size reductions to research documented learning benefit levels and salaries that will attract and retain highly qualified teachers. The Oklahoma Congress of Parents and Teachers believes accountability standards should be established and that an office independent of the electorate should be charges with the responsibility of monitoring and enforcing these standards.
The Oklahoma Congress of Parents and Teachers believes that crisis in common school education must be addressed immediately and applauds the efforts of Oklahoma citizens who have worked and are continuing to work on identifying solutions to appropriately address this crisis.
The Oklahoma Congress of Parents and Teachers strongly urges the Governor and State Legislature to cooperatively address the common school education crisis in a productive manner that will ensure an appropriate and equitable public school education for all Oklahoma children and youth.