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Advocacy


Learn about our legislative priorities and other supported issues and find out more ways to get involved on the Take Action page. Our advocacy work is directed by our member-approved resolutions, principles, and legislative platform. In 2021 we introduced our Focus on Advocacy program.

During the Washington state legislative session, WSPTA will send action alerts and informational broadcasts to WSPTA members who have subscribed to WSPTA’s Action Network Group. These action alerts are quick, easy ways to communicate with your legislators on topics they are actively working on.

To learn more about WSPTA’s effectiveness in advocating, end of session reports are located on the Advocacy & Legislative Resources page, letters to policymakers represent our Advocacy in Action, and learn more about our federal legislation efforts here.


Legislative Platform

The Washington State PTA 2023-2024 WSPTA Legislative Platform is a two-year platform to mirror the Washington state legislative cycle. In the even-numbered years, the new platform is voted on by members at the legislative assembly in the fall. The top five issues become our short-term platform and consist of our priority issues when advocating throughout the year. Other issues are placed on an “also supported” list.

During the odd-numbered years, members vote to amend current issues or to add new, emerging issues to the also supported list. Each issue has a corresponding handout located in the dropdown that can be downloaded and used when advocating.

Top 5 Legislative Priorities for 2023-2024

Addressing the Student Mental Health Crisis

Washington State PTA shall support legislation or policies that ensure all students have access to the behavioral and mental health resources they need to thrive, including funding for:

  • Reduced ratios of students to mental health professionals.
  • Programs and incentives to recruit, train, and retain mental health professionals.
  • Resources to assist families.
  • Training and support for educators and administrators.

Addressing Critical Gaps in Education Funding

Washington State PTA shall advocate for legislation or policies that help resolve critical education funding gaps and inequities with predictable, progressive, and sustainable revenue sources including, but not limited to:

  • Resources for students needing additional academic/physical/emotional supports.
  • Services for students with disabilities.
  • Categorical funding to support highly mobile students.
  • Student transportation.
  • Unfunded mandates to school districts.
  • School construction.

Preventing and Reducing Gun Violence and Suicide

Washington State PTA shall support legislation or policies that prevent and reduce gun violence and suicide including:

  • Addressing the disproportionate impact on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth.
  • Funding community-based prevention and intervention programs.
  • Promoting safe storage of medication and firearms.
  • Prohibiting the sale or transfer of military-style assault weapons.

Addressing Funding, Inclusion, and Supports in Special Education

Washington State PTA shall advocate for legislation or policies that support students with disabilities and their families by:

  • Fully funding special education services with no caps on funding enrollment.
  • Developing solutions to address a statewide special education staffing shortage.
  • Promoting full inclusion in general education classrooms.
  • Promoting high leverage teaching practices.
  • Assessing needs for and providing assistive technology and multi-tiered systems of support.
  • Simplifying the safety net reimbursement process to school districts.
  • Banning student isolation in schools.

Building and Maintaining Safer School Facilities

Washington State PTA shall advocate for legislation or policies that:

  • Fund school safety changes, including emergency signs, improving indoor air quality and other environmental hazards, seismic upgrades, and an earthquake early warning system in all schools.
  • Require safety plans to include persons with disabilities and all people in school buildings, and to conduct annual emergency reunification training.
  • Increase the transparency of the condition of school facilities to allow public review.

2023-2024 WSPTA Supported Issues

Creating a Diverse and Effective Educator Workforce

Washington State PTA shall support legislation or policies that ensure that every child has outstanding paraeducators, educators and administrators by preparing all educators for supporting students with disabilities as part of their preservice, expanding programs that grow, recruit and retain an effective and diverse workforce, and providing equitable access to preparation or certificate programs.

Expanding School Construction Funding Options

Washington State PTA shall advocate for legislation or policies that:

  • Increase overall state funding and funding options for school construction projects and improvements.
  • Provide equitable funding options so all school districts across the state can complete capital projects and improvements.
  • Lower the 60 percent super-majority to pass bonds to no more than 55 percent with a strong preference for a simple majority of 50 percent.

Harnessing the Benefits of Mastery-based Learning

Washington State PTA shall advocate for legislation or policies that harness the benefits of mastery-based learning to ensure all students experience learning through a positive progression of demonstrated mastery that increases learning outcomes through inclusivity, communicated performance indicators, and timely feedback and supports to reach learning goals.

Improving Equitable Identification and Access for Highly Capable Students

Washington State PTA shall initiate and/or support legislation or policies that:

  • Achieve equity for traditionally under-represented and under-served student populations through universal screening and access to high quality Highly Capable (HiCap) services.
  • Require OSPI to publish HiCap demographic data by district.
  • Ensure educators and staff serving HiCap students receive effective professional development in the academic, social, and emotional needs of HiCap students.

Increasing Education Equity by Closing the Digital Divide

Washington State PTA shall support legislation, policies, and funding that ensure equitable digital inclusion and access for all students, families, and staff through the implementation of a statewide digital equity plan, including adoption of best practices and strategies for use of technology to improve student education and behavioral outcomes.

Increasing Support for Equitable Family Engagement

Washington State PTA shall advocate for legislation or polices that:

  • Require adoption and implementation of the Washington State Family Engagement Framework, with funding and technical assistance for school district implementation.
  • Expand the ratio of family engagement coordinators in middle and high schools.
  • Reduce barriers for caregivers to participate on workgroups, committees, or other engagement opportunities.
  • Fund family engagement professional learning for all educators.

Mitigating the Adverse Impacts of Climate Change

Washington State PTA shall advocate for legislation or policies that build a socially, economically, and environmentally resilient world for children and youth by:

  • Providing education, funding, planning and implementation resources to schools and communities to promote sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Equitably mitigating adverse climate change impacts.
  • Declaring climate change a public health crisis in order to implement policies and solutions that strengthen public health and health care infrastructure, direct funding and raise awareness about the health impacts of climate change.

Supporting a Meaningful High School Diploma

Washington State PTA shall advocate for legislation or policies that prepare students for college or career including:

  • Graduation requirements that support a meaningful diploma.
  • Opportunities to attain credits through evidence of content mastery and dual credit course options.
  • Innovative and student-centered class offerings using culturally responsive curricula and teaching practices.
  • Equitable access to, and family engagement about, relevant graduation pathways, high school and beyond plans, and college and career counseling.

For more information, email the WSPTA Advocacy Director.


Submit a Legislative Issue Proposal

The window for submitting a proposal for consideration will open in Spring of 2023.

Steps in the Submission Process

–Submission process will be announced in Spring 2023

Deadlines

Deadlines will be announced in Spring 2023

Review Resources Prior to Submitting

Issue Submitter Requirements

Submitter requirements will be announced in Spring 2023.

Issue Proposal Form

The Issue Proposal Form will be announced in Spring 2023.