By Lisa Christoffel, Resolutions Coordinator
Before you know it, it will be time to head to Niagara Falls for the 121st New York State PTA Convention on November 3-5. If you who have attended Convention before, you know that it’s an incredible weekend not be missed. If you are considering attending for the first time, take the plunge! 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 2017.
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.
There are 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. We don’t always have all four categories. This year, the committee looked at the resolutions adopted at the 2010 Convention and determined that eight of them were in need of an update to reflect current issues and concerns, and two of them are being recommended for rescission. The other nine we are recommending for retention because we’re still working the issues.
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clauses of a previously adopted resolution have been taken, the Team will likely recommend that the resolution be rescinded and retired to the NYS PTA historic record. In the case of this year’s rescissions, we have several resolved clauses whose actions have been completed, and we have one clause that is now covered in another newer resolution. 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 15th 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 2017 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.
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 2017. Please join us!
Have you checked out the proposed resolutions? We encourage you to make a copy to refer to when resolutions are presenting at your PTA meeting.
Here are the Proposed Resolutions to be presented at the NYS PTA 2017 Annual Convention in Niagara Falls.