1.15.2010

I've been reading a lot of news articles lately about different states planning their applications for the Race to the top funds. Some states have rushed thru key legislature in order to ensure that their application is considered (Kentucky being one of those states), while others are hesitant to sign on and give over supervision of education to the US Government (Texas for example). After this round of applications, decisions concerning these funds will be made and only 8 to 12 states will receive funding. So here's what needs to be considered and perhaps addressed: will states that don't receive the funds still enact the legislature they agreed upon or will they then alter that legislature with ammendments or compromise? The language in most of these new bills is diliberately vague in some cases, so that compromise can take place later on. Some are more specific in order to get those key points to get the key funding.

I just spent the other night watching the JCPS BOE on tv (because I couldn't attend in person) and was impressed by the conversation concerning collaboration between key share holders in the Rttt application...Commissioner Terry Holliday was there, along with David Cook. Sitting along side them addressing the board was JCTA President Brett McKim...Noticibly absent was...well, ME. Or more specifically a representative from the PTA (State or District) to address the shareholders who this funding, received or not, will directly impact: the students and their families. KY PTA has time and time again had to ask for the invitation to sit on key committees: Rttt and SB1. We were only invited after it was pointed out that we were not initially invited. It was like being at the lunch table in middle school and having the most popular student invite everyone else at the table to their party except for you. Everyone invited looks a bit uncomfortable, but no one points out that there must have been a mistake, that you should have been invited, certainly you must be on the guest list. So when you point out, hey THE parent group, THE PTA, representing close to 100,000 parents/families, etc. in this state WAS NOT ASKED TO BE INVOVLED IN THE DISCUSSION....oh, yea, ooops. Here's your last minute invite. Everyone shuffles their feet and looks abashed, but guess what...IT HAPPENS AGAIN!

I can only hope that this oversite is completely unintentional. That when it comes time to explain the new Senate Bill that the Governor just signed so we can be considered for the funding, that when it comes time to explain how SB1 will be enacted, that when PARENTS are asked to support key measures to help their children succeed in school, to graduate, and support post secondary education, that the PTA, both the State and District (which currently has 48,955 members) will be invited without having to be reminded to be invited.

My other hope is that this is simply an issue singular to the dynamic of education here in Kentucky and Jefferson County. That other PTAs throught the US are not perceived as only providing "cookies and punch" to a school activity or program. That they are given respect and acknowledged for their advocacy efforts on behalf of the children of their state. That when we are asked to provide support for district programs that we, as parents, are also included in the planning of those programs. That when you ask parents to support your investment in their children's future that you ask parents what they believe that future should look like.

everychild. onevoice. PTA

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