Resolutions: Your Voice Matters

(NYPT Fall 2018)

By Lisa Christoffel, Resolutions Coordinator

It’s early August right now, and my family and I are currently in Hawaii, celebrating the college graduation of my middle son and the high school graduation of my youngest. It was a long, exciting road to get my children to this point in their lives. And for the first time in almost 20 years, I have no more children in the public school system. But I remember well the feeling, heading into mid-August, that the kids were desperately grabbing onto those last few days of summer…swimming, biking, and hanging out with their friends. They were always excited when we bought new school supplies and new clothes for the upcoming school year, but sad to see summer go.

I also remember working with my “new” for that year PTA family to plan our calendar for the school year. And teaching workshops at our local region summer training event, helping new unit leaders learn the ropes and get their school year off to a great start. Training is one of the keys to PTA’s success in our advocacy mission: teaching our leaders and members how to run their units effectively and how to be the voice for our children and our communities. NYS PTA’s Convention is another opportunity for both great learning and great advocacy.

This year’s 122nd New York State PTA Convention is in Saratoga Springs November 9-11. For those of you who have attended in the past, you know that it’s an incredible weekend not be missed. To the PTA members who are considering attending for the first time, it’s a must-see! As first-time delegates you will experience and participate firsthand in the business of NYS PTA and you will be a part of our advocacy efforts as we consider the Proposed Resolutions for 2018. Your voice matters!

The NYS PTA Resolutions Committee, made up of members of the NYS PTA Advocacy Team, meets annually in June to review previously adopted resolutions and to consider newly submitted resolutions. Resolutions are reexamined every seven years to determine their relevance to NYS PTA’s mission and purposes. The committee then decides what action to recommend for each resolution, makes any necessary revisions, and composes statement paragraphs to explain the committee’s action on each one. The team prepares four categories of resolutions to be presented to PTA delegates at the NYS PTA Annual Convention in November. The categories of resolutions are: retentions, updates, rescinds, and new. This year, the committee looked at the resolutions adopted at the 2011 convention and determined that six of them were in need of an update to reflect current issues and concerns and one of them needed to be rescinded. We also have one new resolution that will be brought before the membership.

A retention is a previously adopted resolution that will be reconsidered in its original form. It can be reaffirmed or rejected but not amended. An update is a previously adopted resolution that requires modification due to new information or legislation yet the original intent remains relevant. When considering an update, delegates may amend an action (resolved clause) when deciding whether to accept or reject the resolution. When all actions of resolved clauses of a previously adopted resolution have been taken, the Team will likely recommend that the resolution be rescinded and retired to the NYS PTA historic record. New resolutions address issues that are being introduced for the first time for consideration by the NYS PTA. They must meet specific criteria and be submitted by units, councils, or regions by an April 1st deadline of the convention year. Once adopted, resolutions become part of NYS PTA’s official advocacy documents Basic Policy and Where We Stand”.

Since resolutions establish PTA positions for advocacy, the role of PTA members as grassroots advocates to reaffirm, reject, update, rescind or establish new positions is pivotal. At your October meeting plan time to read, review, and discuss the Proposed 2018 Resolutions with unit, council, and region members. In doing so, you will effectively prepare delegates representing your vote at convention. Bear in mind that resolutions are often amended on the convention floor. Be sure to give your delegate(s) a “vote of confidence”. This will allow them to make decisions based on changes that may occur as a result of debate.

The Advocacy Team is excited to be presenting one new resolution for adoption this year. Every PTA is encouraged to send at least one delegate to convention. We invite you to be a part of the discussion and the debate. Bring your passion and vow to be a champion for all children. There’s no better place to be a part of the action than Convention 2018. Please join us!

You can download our proposed resolutions here https://nyspta.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/ADVOCACY-LegProgram-Resolutions-2018-Packet.pdf. We encourage you to make copies for your members to refer to when presenting at your October meetings. Proposed Resolutions to be presented at the NYS PTA 2018 Annual Convention in Saratoga Springs are:

Retentions

  1. INFLUENCE OF MEDIA ON TOBACCO USE – 2011 (U-’04)
  2. ENFORCEMENT OF CURRENT REGULATIONS FOR PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES – 2011 (R-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83
  3. COMMUNITY SCHOOLS PROGRAM – 2011 (R-’04, R-’97, R-’90)
  4. REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PARENT MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL EDUCATION (CSE) AND THE COMMITTEE ON PRESCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION (CPSE) – 2011 (U-’04, R-’97, U-’90)
  5. RECESS FOR STUDENTS – 2011 (R-’04)
  6. SCHOOL COUNSELORS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS – 2011 (U-’02, U-’01, R-’94, R-’87)
  7. SEWAGE WASTE PROBLEMS – 2011 (U-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83)
  8. TOXIC ART SUPPLIES – 2011 (U-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83)
  9. MANDATED SCHOOL BUDGET VOTES – 2011 (R-’04, R-’97)
  10. LEVELING UP LOW WEALTH DISTRICTS – 2011 (R-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83)
  11. HEAD INJURIES – 2011 (U-’04, R-’97)
  12. INERT INGREDIENTS – 2011 (U-’04, R-’97)
  13. CPR/AED AND FIRST AID – 2011 (R-’04, U-’97, R-’90, R-’83)
  14. RAPID WEIGHT LOSS DIETS – 2011 (R-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83)
  15. FINGERPRINTING CHILDREN – 2011 (R-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83)
  16. LIMITING CHILD LABOR – 2011 (U-’04, R-’97, U-’90)
  17. TRAFFIC LIGHT INSTALLATION AT SCHOOLS WHICH ARE LOCATED ON STATE OWNED ROADS – 2011 (R-’04, U-’97, R-’90)
  18. EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBER 911 – 2011 (R-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83)
  19. YOUTH CAMP SAFETY – 2011 (R-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83)
  20. HAZARDS FROM LAND, WATER, AIR, NOISE AND LIGHT POLLUTION – 2010 (U-’03, U-’96, R-’89, U-’82)

Updates

  1. HEALTHY SCHOOL FOODS – 2011 (R-’04)
  2. TO REQUIRE COORDINATING COUNCILS ON SCHOOL HEALTH AS A MEANS OF EFFECTIVELY USING SCHOOL TIME – 2011 (R-’04, R-’97)
  3. MISSING CHILDREN – 2011 (U-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83)
  4. SCHOOL PRAYER AMENDMENT – 2011 (R-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83)
  5. SEAT BELT USAGE ON SCHOOL BUSES – 2011 (R-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83)
  6. SAFETY ITEMS ON SCHOOL BUSES – 2011 (U-’04, R-’97, R-’90, R-’83)

Rescissions

  1. MULTIPLE DAY TEST ADMINISTRATION FOR ALL STUDENTS WITH EXTENDED TIME AND TWO REGENTS ON THE SAME DAY – 2011 (R-’04)

New Resolutions

  1. RAISING THE MINIMUM SALES AGE OF TOBACCO AND OTHER NICOTINE DELIVERY SYSTEMS TO 21