To: Virginia PTA members
From:  Sarah Gross, Chair Legislation/Education Committee

The following are TWO items recommended to you for consideration. In the early fall, you will be asked to VOTE on these items as part of the 2015 Proposed Legislation Program (PLP). If you have any questions about these items, the rationale or history, please do not hesitate to contact the committee at legislation@vapta.org.  Please familiarize yourself with the issues below and be prepared to cast a vote so that your state Legislation committee is effectively advocating on your behalf.

LEGISLATION ACTION ITEMS (LAI): Requests for the introduction, passage, or defeat of specific legislation by the General Assembly and/or regulations by the Virginia Board of Education or other appropriate agencies.

POLICY/POSITION STATEMENTS (PS): Statements of Virginia PTA on general issues and may be used as the basis for dressing issues before the General Assembly, Virginia Board of Education or other appropriate agencies.
 
LEGISLATIVE ACTION ITEM #1:
Virginia PTA supports legislation that improves access and availability of quality mental health services for Virginia’s troubled youth.
 

Rationale:
Continued tragic, violent events in our schools have evidenced the need for quality mental health services for troubled youth and their families. Virginia PTA supports legislation aimed at improving not only the quality of these services but also availability.  Families and youth across the Commonwealth need access to necessary services during crises as well as counseling as situations require.


POSITION STATEMENT #2:
Virginia PTA supports local revenue increases so long as at least 50% of the additional revenue is allocated to local Pre-K through 12 public education.
 

Rationale:
After years of state and local budget cuts, many localities continue to face revenue shortfalls often times because of the state's shifting of costs to the localities. Recently we have seen an increase in the number of localities in Virginia that are pursuing local revenue increases to cover the additional costs with which they are now burdened. This proposed position is in line with two
already existing member-adopted positions but further clarifies the advocacy efforts local PTAs may employ to pursue these additional revenues. As always, PTAs are encouraged to monitor local budgets closely to ensure that at least 50% of the increased revenue is allocated to public education. PTAs should work closely with local school boards and governing bodies (Boards of Supervisors, City Councils, etc.) to ensure that a local, quality education program is fully funded.

ALL Varina High School Ballots are due by October 29, 2014. 

Thank you for playing an important role in the advocacy for Virginia's students, teachers and schools.
 
To complete the short survey and ballot, please click on the following link:
 
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SDDSJYQ