Kentucky Education Action Team 2016 Legislative Priorities

Kids Can't WaitKEAT supports increased funding for all P-12 public school students as an urgent priority for the Commonwealth.

While KEAT supports more funding for all school programs, we specifically support increases to address three critical needs in the 2016 Kentucky General Assembly.

Adopt a funding plan for the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System.

A sound pension system helps recruit and retain quality teachers. KEAT urges the governor and legislature to enact a plan that will assure adequate funding for KTRS to eliminate its current accumulated unfunded liability within the next thirty years. The single largest strain on Kentucky’s budget is this obligation to current teachers and retirees. Kentucky teachers do not participate in Social Security so their KTRS benefits are their only economic safety net.

Provide more children with high quality early education.

High quality early childhood education is critical to a child’s success in school and in life. Such programs reduce achievement gaps and increase graduation rates, leveling the playing field for all our children. They help assure that Kentucky will have an educated workforce. Increasing the eligibility for public funding for preschool services to families whose income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level will expand these services to 15,000 more four-year olds.

Assure safe transportation to and from school for our students.

As student transportation costs have continued to increase, funding has not. Aging buses and additional demands for bus safety increase needs. School districts have diverted general state and local school funding to safely transport students. The state currently reimburses less than 60% of the cost of student transportation, in a program designed to reimburse the full cost. If the state provides more funding, diverted state and local funds can be redirected to other pressing student needs.


Rationale:

Kentucky Teachers Retirement System

An adequately funded teacher pension system benefits students, local communities, and the Commonwealth.  The promise of a good pension helps us recruit and retain quality teachers. Each community benefits from the contributions of retired teachers, as they spend their pensions and their volunteer energies locally. With an accumulated unfunded liability of approximately $14 billion and a funded status of 55.3%, resources required to meet the Commonwealth’s obligations to current and retired teachers place a significant strain on the state budget. The lack of a plan to address KTRS’ funded status makes meeting other budget priorities much more challenging. It also decreases the state’s credit rating.

Early Childhood Education

High quality preschool for our at-risk children is characterized by developmentally appropriate curriculum and high standards for teaching, health and safety. Such early education provides a solution for our persistent gap issues. Research clearly shows that our best return on investment is during the early years, birth through age five.  The cost of later remediation and incarceration far exceeds intervening early. Collaboration among schools and child care providers can accommodate expanding enrollment and provide children and parents with a full-day, year-round program. As a result, more children will be ready for kindergarten and success throughout school and life.

Safe Transportation

As fuel, driver pay, bus purchases, insurance, repairs and other costs have increased, the state’s reimbursement for student transportation has stayed flat, reducing the funding level well below 100%. Pupil transportation, as a component of the SEEK formula, was designed be fully funded by the state. As state transportation funding as a proportion of the total cost has declined, school districts have been forced to divert other state and local funds to assure that students are safely transported to and from school.

FY Percent Funded   FY Percent Funded
2002 100% 2009 66%
2003 100% 2010 70%
2004 100% 2011 65%
2005 96% 2012 63%
2006 89% 2013 60%
2007 81% 2014 59%
2008 79% 2015 59%

What You Can Do:

  1. Locate and contact your legislators.
  2. Print and sign This Letter to Legislators or write your own and deliver it to the 15th District PTA Office by 2:00 pm Jan. 13. We will hand deliver the letters to Frankfort on Jan. 14 during Children’s Advocacy Day.
  3. Explain the importance of funding education to friends, neighbors, family members, coworkers, and have them call their legislators, as well.
  4. Share this post via email and on social media (links are below).

Main Message: Our Kids Can’t Wait

  • Our students get just one chance at a high quality education
  • Kentucky has raised the expectations for student performance
  • Funding to support student achievement continues to decline

The Bottom Line:

  • The future of our children and of our state requires more P12 funding

Join Us! Rally for Education Funding on January 7

cuts dont healOur Kids Can’t Wait

Rally for Education Funding

The Kentucky PTA and 15th District PTA will be holding the 3rd Annual Rally for Education Funding called, “Our Kids Can’t Wait.”  We are inviting the community to join the “Our Kids Can’t Wait” Rally on Thursday, January 7th at 6:30 pm at Westport Middle School (8100 Westport Road, Louisville, KY 40222).General Letter to Legislators 011416

MORE

November 2015 Newsletter

PTAOctNews15_Page_1District News!

Hot off the Press!!

Our 15th District PTA November newsletter is mailing soon to all PTA Officers. An electronic copy is available for you to share with all your members.

Please make sure we have your updated officer’s list by completing the attached form. Please email it to sharon.whitworth@jefferson.kyschools.us or fax to 502-485-7062.

3rd Annual Rally for Education Funding

rally for education funding 2016

PACT – Central HS PTSA Present Healthy Relationships

Pact - Central High School Flyer

Bullying Workshop for PTA Leaders

Bullying Workshop for PTA Leaders

Funding Opportunity for PTAs/PTSAs

 JCPEF PTA Grant Application

2015-16 PLC Rounds Information

JCPS is inviting community, corporate and parent partners into several schools throughout the school year to observe teachers in action. Participants will get a chance to interact with the principal as well as observe a team of teachers actively engaged in the PLC model. Teachers are working together to problem solve and strategize how they can best serve the individual needs of the students they teach. I have attached a personal invitation from Dr. Hargens inviting our parents to these sessions. Although times are during the day, which may be difficult for working parents, we do have a variety of times that may fit well into a lunch hour or a visit before they go into work. Parents are welcome to attend as many sessions as they would like. For additional information please contact Melissa Barman at (502) 485-3834.

PLC Parent Letter
2015-16 PLC Schedule

Get Out the Vote!

Nonprofit VOTE’s voter registration tool makes registering to vote fast and easy. Developed by Rock the Vote over several election cycles, it uses simple prompts and state specific instructions to guide voters through the voter registration process. When a voter finishes filling out the form, all they need to do is print it, sign and date it, and return the form to the election office address provided.

Speaking Up for Children

Advocacy Training

 

Speak up for children. Learn how to advocate for students at the state level. For more information, please contact Sharon Whitworth, KY PTA legislative commissioner.

Voice for our Children

voiceBeginning Sept. 10, parent cohorts will meet on the second Thursday of each month. Click for more info.

VOICE FOR OUR CHILDREN

New Board Training Opportunities

Bring your board members to one of our upcoming training sessions at Gheens. Get great information about how to successfully run your PTA for 2015-2016. Perfect for every officer on your board, old and new.

July 23 6pm-8pm Flex A
August 6 6pm-8pm Flex A
August 26 6pm-8pm Rm G05-G06
September 9 6pm-8pm Flex A
September 16 12pm-2pm Flex B
October 8 12pm-2pm Flex A
October 29 6-8 Flex A
November 12 12pm-2pm Flex B

Click here to RSVP.

Email training@15thdistrictpta.org with questions.

Attention Vendors

The 2015 Back to School/Back to PTA Vendor’s Fair is coming up September 23. Send in your vendor registration form today!

Financial Review Form

Required 2014-2015 Financial Review Form (formerly Audit Report Form) Deadline: August 15, 2015

ALL PTAs/PTSAs MUST FILE WITH THE IRS
Mail this Financial Review Form to Kentucky PTA, 148 Consumer Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601

Kentucky PTA and local unit bylaws require all PTAs and PTSAs to file a Financial Review Form with Kentucky PTA by August 15, each year, to remain a “unit in good standing.”

Financial Review Form

2015-2016 CAP Schedule

The CAP Volunteer schedule for 2015-2016 is now available. Please click the following links to view:

CAP SCHEDULE BY SCHOOL NAME

CAP SCHEDULE BY DATE

Click the link for more information about the 15th District’s Clothing Assistance Program.

Reflections Note Cards Now Available

Purchase your Reflections note cards today!

The 2014-2015 Reflections theme was “The World Would Be A Better Place If…”.  And now you can send thank you notes, greeting cards, or send an entire set to someone as a gift! Click here to order.

 

Back To School/Back to PTA

Recap Coming Soon!