Utah PTA Public Policy Program

The Utah PTA Public Policy Program is the primary authority for public policy action and statements by Utah PTA on state and local legislation and administrative policies and regulations.

The Utah PTA Public Policy Program has four components:

  1. The National PTA and Utah PTA Resolutions
  2. The Utah PTA Legislative Policy
  3. The Utah PTA Legislative Priorities
  4. National PTA and Utah PTA Position Statements

1. The National PTA and Utah PTA Resolutions

Resolutions and positions are formal statements of PTA public or association policy voted by the delegates at the Fall Advocacy Conference or the annual National PTA and Utah PTA Conventions.

The process for moving forward a Utah PTA resolution is:

  1. A PTA can propose resolutions to the Utah PTA Resolutions Committee.
  2. The Utah PTA Resolutions Committee reviews submitted resolutions and recommends action to the Utah PTA Board of Directors.
  3. The Utah PTA Board of Directors forwards resolutions to the delegates at either the Fall Advocacy Conference or the Leadership Convention for consideration.
  4. Resolutions must be approved by the conference or convention body to become official policies of the association.

Utah PTA resolutions and position statements are found on the Utah PTA website, http://www.utahpta.org/resolutions-position-statements

2. The Utah PTA Legislative Policy

The legislative policy is the philosophy and general principles which guide the Utah PTA’s consideration of proposed legislation.

The Utah PTA is a non-profit, grassroots, child advocacy association made up of parents, teachers, and students. The legislative program of the Utah PTA is derived from the work of PTA in home, school, and community. PTA efforts “to secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth” are based upon:

  1. The recognition of the home as the foundation of our society;
  2. Parental involvement as an essential component of all policy-making processes pertaining to children;
  3. The observance and understanding of the rights and obligations of responsible citizenship and ethical government; and,
  4. The realization that maintaining a free and public education system is a cornerstone of democracy—that the Utah Public Education System is created in the state Constitution to “secure and perpetuate” freedom.

General Principles for Consideration of Proposed Legislation:

  1. Equal justice, privileges, opportunities, and responsibilities in every phase of life for all children and youth, while recognizing that each child is unique with individual needs and talents.
  2. High standards for those who work in all areas concerned with children and youth.
  3. Coordination and planning by all agencies with clear definition of responsibility at each level of government.
  4. Prioritizing the needs of all children and youth, while adhering to fiscal responsibility in government.
  5. Maximum local control when it serves the best interest of all children and youth.
  6. Continued maintenance of the constitutional guarantee of financial support for public schools as the first claim on state revenues.
  7. Maintenance of Utah PTA’s viability as a non-profit voice for children.

3. Utah PTA Legislative Priorities

The Utah PTA Legislative Priorities are based upon the actions called for by the Utah PTA and National PTA resolutions and position statements. Rather than providing an exhaustive list of the areas in which the Utah PTA is involved, the priorities are indicative of issues on which PTA expects to target its efforts and activity. All PTA statewide public policy work is consistent with the Utah PTA’s priorities, resolutions, and position statements.

Utah PTA 2018-2019 Legislative Priorities

  1. Support education legislation which uses new revenue sources to fund the Teacher and Student Success Account and maintains local school board accountability and authority.
  2. Support public education allocations which fully fund student enrollment growth and increase the WPU by 5.5% to attract, develop and retain quality educators, reduce class sizes, and support local improvement initiatives and programs.
  3. Support safe school legislation that encourages decision-making and control under the direction of local school boards.
  4. Support additional funding to help with the overwhelming mental health crisis including, but not limited to, programs, classes, school psychologists, school counselors, school nurses, and social workers.
  5. Support measures to instill proven and effective prevention methods to protect children and strengthen families to overcome the ills of society including: suicide, tobacco use, underage drinking, drug abuse, sexual exploitation, bullying, and any form of addiction that is harmful to our children’s well-being.
  6. Support legislation, funding, and community partnerships that provide programs, affordable housing, education and opportunities for qualifying families.

4. The Utah and National PTA Position Statements

Position statements are initiated by members of the Utah PTA or National PTA Board of Directors and approved by a majority vote of that body. Position statements provide guidance rather than prescribe specific policy actions to be taken by the association and are meant to be temporary in their nature until a resolution on the issue can be passed by the membership at the annual Utah PTA Advocacy Conference or Leadership Convention. Position statements have the same level of authority as resolutions.