Select any priority for more detailed information on that issue. Download a summary of the Legislative Priorities here.
Support Student Success
Adequate and Equitable School Funding
Pursue an adequate and equitable solution for school funding while maintaining accountability and responsibility for education the whole child.
Funding for Growing Public Schools
Ensure funding for student enrollment growth.
Funding for Quality Pre-K Grant Program
The Quality Pre-K Grant Program, initiated by the 84th Legislature, was a positive first step in providing a small number of students with the preparation they need to enter school successfully, and Texas PTA seeks to maintain or increase that funding over the next biennium.
Funding for Full-Day Pre-K for At-Risk Students
Seek funding for full day pre-k for at-risk students to ensure that they are fully prepared for success in kindergarten and first grade, and for a strong K-12 school experience.
Ensure Special Education Services for Qualified Students – Support legislation to ensure that all students with disabilities receive the services they need, consistent with identification and evaluation processes laid out in IDEA, the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Oppose caps and monitoring performance measures that encourage a limit on the percentage of students in a school district who receive special education services, regardless of need.
Health and Safety
Age of Adult Criminal Responsibility
Raise the age for mandatory prosecution as an adult from 17 to 18, allowing non-violent offenders who are 17 years of age to be charged as a minor.
Pursue banning the sale to minors of powdered alcohol, a powder that can be mixed with liquids -- similar to the way Kool-Aid is mixed with water -- to create an alcoholic beverage that can have alcohol levels equivalent to a shot of vodka.
Strengthen the cyberbullying law to protect students from online, often anonymous, bullying by clarifying the role of school districts and other officials in addressing this behavior, and removing barriers by dealing with offenders.
Healthy Food Financing - Develop a Healthy Food Financing Program that can provide loans to start grocery stores in low grocery access areas.
Ensure Access to Healthy Food Options - Ensure access to healthier options and help create more supportive food environments for government employees and visitors to public property by requiring healthy options in vending machines and concessions to be offered to consumers on property owned or operated by the state.
Meaningful Assessment & Accountability
State of Texas Assessment for Academic Readiness
Advocate for reduced emphasis on state-mandated testing, focusing on grades 3-8, and monitor changes to STAAR for high school students, and limits on benchmark testing for all tested grades.
State Accountability System
Texas PTA supports modifications to an A-F rating system that will yield valid, reliable and balanced results which will focus less on the state assessment and recognizes other attributes including, but not limited to, fine arts and physical education. In addition, Texas PTA supports strengthening Domain 5 so that an objective self-evaluation is required making it a more relevant indicator of community and student engagement.
State Board of Education
Actively weigh in on legislation impacting SBOE and monitor activity of SBOE and its quarterly meetings.
Strengthen Public Schools
Oppose vouchers, including Education Savings Account Programs (ESA Programs), that allow state funds to be utilized in private schools that are not accountable to the taxpayer or the state. ESA Programs allow eligible parents to use a portion of the funds the state expends for their student's public school education to fund private school tuition, tuition at eligible institutions, and distance education curriculum. The remainder of the funds are kept by the public school the student previously attended.
Support Districts of Innovation
Oppose efforts to restrict the latitude given to Districts of Innovation to set their own school calendar.