Your PTA dues do not have to go to WSPTA leadership for charter school lobbying

The teachers at Ballard High School issued this resolution regarding the Washington State PTA’s plank on charter schools:

Whereas the Washington State Parent Teacher Student Association leadership has turned to actively promoting charter schools, despite their own survey of their membership that found a majority opposed to charters, and

Whereas the SEA has passed resolutions opposing charter schools, and

Whereas teachers are vastly underrepresented and now misrepresented in the PTSA, and

Whereas the PTSA should remove the T from their name, because the PTSA, in allying with those who would undermine a free and equitable a public education, no longer should claim to represent teachers,

Be it resolved that the SEA send a letter to the state PTSA condemning the Washington State PTSA’s recent vote to support Charter school legislation in WA highlighting the above mentioned points.

Be it further resolved that the SEA send copies of said letter to the Seattle Times as a press release with further information detailing SEA’s multiple statements of opposition to Charter schools.

Then the teachers at Ballard High School in Seattle  came up with a way to pay dues into the school PTSA and not have their dues kicked up to the state level to fund charter legislation.

To follow is a statement from teachers at Ballard High School:
At Ballard High School, the PTSA has set up a fund specifically for teachers to contribute financially to the PTSA. In paying into this, teachers can demonstrate their involvement with and appreciation for the PTSA’s work on behalf of their school.
It is understood that any teacher (or parent) paying into this fund is not an official PTSA member, and therefore lacks voting rights. At Ballard, at least, there are so very few controversial PTSA agenda items that this is, for most teachers, not an important issue. In fact, only a very few teachers participate actively in PTSA, although over 70 were members last year.
Understand that each school has a minimum number of dues paying members required to constitute a PTSA, and if teacher’s official memberships are needed to meet that minimum, we strongly encourage teachers to join and pay dues in the regular way. However, once that minimum is reached, we encourage local PTSAs to then cap the “official” memberships and allow everyone joining the option of participating “unofficially” in the way described earlier. There is no need to send additional dues to the State organization beyond the minimum.
Furthermore, we still encourage teachers to actively participate in PTSA, including attending and voting at state-wide meetings where charter school agendas are being pushed by state PTSA leadership. Very few teachers are participating at this level, and more teachers being involved could help divert the PTSA’s charter-school agenda. Local PTSAs can send teacher representatives to these meetings. We encourage staff at each school to select a teacher to actively participate in PTSA by paying dues, and attending all local and state meetings.

4 thoughts on “Your PTA dues do not have to go to WSPTA leadership for charter school lobbying

  1. I’m really pleased to see a constructive work around coming together here. Seems like we need to bring other parent teachers student organizations to the fore so it’s not a monopoly. I’d love to see that. PAA-S for instance can be another voice within the schools to keep abuses such as this PTSA charter school shenanigans in check. Now we need to work on that other letter in PTSA and that is the S for students.

  2. Jim,

    I would suggest talking to your PTSA president and working out a way that you can pay the dues, be an active member of your school’s PTSA and yet not have the money go to the Washington State fund to pay for folks like Ms. Hattendorf to shill for charter schools.

    As the teachers worked out, there is a minimum number of PTA members in a school to be able to vote in a legislative assembly. After that, the money can go to the school.

    If you want more detailed information, please e-mail me at dora.taylor@ and I will put you in touch with PTA members who can provide you with the details on how it was worked out at Ballard High School.


  3. I wasn’t aware that the WSPTA was doing this. I’m opposed to “charter schools” and I’m angry that my contribution to the PTSA at my daughter’s school is helping to fund this.

    How can I, as a parent, do something about this? Is there a way for me to continue supporting the PTSA at my daughter’s school and insure that none of my money will go to help this “charter schools” sham?

    Any suggestions?

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