The Legislative Committee coordinates the networking, advising, advocating, and collaborating on state and national legislative issues impacting students, along with planning and coordination of the annual Legislative Conference.

Colorado PTA continues to be an integral part of the education advocacy scene at the State Legislature.  PTA takes positions on legislation dealing with children’s education, health, and well-being, and PTA volunteers provide testimony in legislative committees.  PTA was a principal partner in the 2013 Year of the Student project to urge the Legislature to pass bills to improve school funding.  In 2014 and 2015 PTA worked with our members of Congress to include parent and family engagement provisions in ESSA (Every Child Succeeds Act), which replaced No Child Left Behind.

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Who are the members of the Legislative Committee?
  • The Legislative Committee consists of members appointed by the Public Policy Director with the approval of the Colorado PTA President. Every effort is made to include at least three (3) people from each of the Colorado PTA Regions.  These people can include any of the following:
    • Any PTA member who attends regularly and participates actively
    • Region Directors and Council Presidents and/or their Legislative Chairs
    • The COPTA Federal Legislative Chair
  • Any interested PTA member may attend the Legislative Committee meetings and participate in the discussions. However, they will not be considered a voting member until they have attended three (3) meetings and have received the approval of the Public Policy Director.
  • Colorado PTA bylaws state that 2 unexcused absences from a committee meeting shall constitute a resignation. Participating via video or teleconference is considered as being in attendance.

What are the functions of the Legislative Committee?
  • Networking of information on state and national legislative issues and PTA’s positions, and making this information available to the local units.
  • Advocating on PTA’s positions to our state and federal legislators and to the general public.
  • Advising the Public Policy Director about positions to be recommended to the Board of Directors on issues not covered by national or state platforms and resolutions.
  • Collaborating with other like-minded organizations for the purpose of advocacy on issues of importance to PTA.

How does the Legislative Committee operate?
  • Meetings of the full committee are held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month from January through May, 6:30-9:00 p.m. Meetings are held only on the 2nd Monday of the month from June through December, 6:30-8:30 p.m., unless scheduled otherwise.
  • Meeting agendas may include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Standing reports: Federal Legislative Chair, advocacy initiatives, and progress on priority initiatives.
    • Discussing proposed legislative to determine COPTA’s position on bills.
    • Strategic planning for advocacy efforts.
    • Reviewing resolutions or positions being proposed by the Resolutions Committee.
    • Training for Legislative Committee members.
    • Organizing subcommittees.
  • Ad hoc subcommittees may be formed for tasks including, but not limited to:
    • Planning the annual COPTA Legislative Conference.
    • Updating the resolutions book and platform, and recommending new resolutions.
    • Researching specific proposed legislation.

How are votes conducted?
When it becomes necessary for the Legislative Committee to vote on a position recommended for adoption by COPTA, the vote is based on a quorum of attending committee members in good standing (see above).  The quorum shall be a minimum of 7 people from at least 3 different regions, with a simple majority being required to pass the vote.

THE VOICES OF ADVOCACY IN ACTION!
Read through our Legislative Blog or Check out the Newsroom to stay informed, engaged and educated about PTA Advocacy Efforts!

Contact Colorado’s Members of Congress

Every Coloradan has two U.S. Senators and a U.S. Representative (also known as a Congressman or Congresswoman).  Both Senators represent the state as a whole and have district offices throughout the state. Colorado has divided into seven Congressional Districts and each District has a Representative. Representatives have several offices within their districts to serve their constituents. Representative and Senators have offices in Washington DC as well. DC offices are primarily concerned with the legislative business of Congress. District offices focus on constituent services. Contacting a district office is often the best way to identify which staff member can help you with your request whether that person is in the same office or in DC. Methods of Contact In-person meeting or invitation to an event – The legislator’s website typically has an online form to use for scheduling requests.  Making a scheduling request well in advance of a meeting or event date is recommended. Postal Mail – Postal mail can be sent to the member’s office in Washington DC or a district office in Colorado. Be sure to allow a few weeks for screening and delivery of postal mail to Washington DC. Phone calls – Typically, Congressional websites do not include a directory of staff. If you don’t have a contact person for the matter, you can call the general number for the office and the staffer answering the phone will help you identify the right contact person. If you are unsure where to call, it’s best to start with the district office. Emails – Congressional websites typically do not include email addresses for staff either. Use the contact form to lobby on a policy issue or ask a question. Request a response and include your contact information if you would like to hear back from the member of Congress. It may take days or weeks for a response...

Is Your PTA an ATM for Your School?

Have you ever felt that your PTA was an ATM for your school principal and teachers? Have you ever felt like your principal thought your PTA budges was his or her discretionary spending fund? Do you get requests from teachers and school staff to fund certain projects and items that really ought to be part of the school budget? You’re not alone. PTAs frequently turn over their funds to school administration for such basics as books, equipment, and maintenance, not to mention extras, such as playground equipment and vending machines. The customs that have developed between PTAs and schools have blurred the line about what PTAs are; what vision, mission, and purposes we follow; and how our funds should be used. Vision, mission, and purposes PTA’s vision is making every child’s potential a reality. PTA’s mission is to be A powerful voice for all children A relevant resource for families and communities A strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child PTA’s purposes, or historical goals are as follows: To promote the welfare of the children and youth in home, school, community, and place of worship To raise the standards of home life To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth To bring into closer relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education How PTAs work The national PTA organization is...