Virginia PTA Capitol Day Goes Virtual!

Small Virtual Capital DayPTA advocacy is happening every day in school board meetings and schools across the Commonwealth. Every January, when the General Assembly convenes, PTA officers and members from across the state meet in Richmond to talk with legislators about the challenges that face our schools. 

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will hold a #VirtualRally and host #CapitolConnections, a series of virtual meetings with our legislators. At no other time in recent history has our voice been so needed! 

Prior to the pandemic, Virginia already ranked 41st in the nation for per pupil state spending and 33rd for early childhood education. Fourteen percent of K-12 students in Virginia don't have broadband access at home and 12% of Virginia's K-12 students don't have a computer at home. Sixty percent of Virginia's schools are more than 40 years old and do not meet modern health and safety standards. The General Assembly has under-funded staffing recommendations made by the Virginia Board of Education for the past decade. The over-reliance on local real-estate taxes has widened opportunity gaps across our state and resulted in staffing standards that allow for part-time principals, no registered nurses and case-loads that exceed the national standard for school counselors, psychologists and social workers.

As our school leaders work to provide safe in-person instruction and high-quality distance learning, we know that long standing funding and staffing inequities must be addressed to protect the health of our students and ensure a quality education! 

Virginia PTA is setting up meetings with legislators, preparing talking points and identifying bills that align with our approved resolutions and priorities. 

We invite you to join us for Virtual Capital Day to share your stories. 

Help our legislators #TakeAction4Kids by sharing the challenges and success you see in your schools! 

IMPORTANT DATES

  • Governor's Budget Announcement (Wed. Dec 16th)
  • House and Senate Budget Hearings (Wed. Jan 6th 10:00am Information)
  • Advocacy Learning Lab: Part 1   (Thurs. Jan 7th, 7:00pm - 8:30pm)
  • Advocacy Learning Lab: Part 2   (Tues. Jan 12th, 7:00pm - 8:30pm)
  • 2021 General Assembly Starts   (Wed. Jan. 13th)
  • #VirtualRally                                (Thurs. January 14th)
  • #ConstituentConnections.          (Jan 18th - Feb 5th)
  • Advocacy Learning Lab: Part 3 (Thurs. Jan. 21st, 7:00 - 8:00pm)
  • Advocacy Learning Lab: Part 4 (Thurs. Feb 25th, 7:00 - 8:00pm) 

REGISTER

Virtual Capital Day part 1

Learning Lab Webinar Part One:
Building an Advocacy Climate in Your School (Thurs. January 7th, 7:00 - 8:30 pm),
will help you re-connect with our PTA mission and include advocacy in your PTA work. We will talk about balancing fundraising with advocacy and how to build family engagement and programs that lift up issues that are important to your community. We will also talk about how to use resolutions and position statements to elevate issues with your school board and legislators, and ways to build community awareness through grass roots and digital advocacy. 

Watch Recording

 LearningLab4

Learning Lab Webinar Part Two:
General Assembly Preview (Tues. January 12th, 7:00 - 8:30 pm),
will take a deep look at the basics of education funding, Virginia PTA's legislative priorities and the staffing and equity funding recommended by the Virginia Board of Education. We'll also talk about how the General Assembly works, how to follow the action, contact your legislators, and amplify our priorities.

Watch Recording

LearningLab3

Learning Lab Webinar Part Three:
Testing: Measuring Student Growth and School Success (Thurs. January 21st, 7:00 - 8:00pm), will help parents understand state and federal testing requirements, the indicators used to accredit schools and what to expect if your school doesn't meet the standards. We will also explore the impact of COVID -19 on school accreditation and changes the Virginia Board of Education is considering as part of the standard revision process.  

Presenters:  Shelley Loving-Ryder, Assistant Superintendent, Department of Student Assessment, Accountability, and ESEA & Julie Molique, Director, Office of Accountability

Watch Recording

LearningLab4

Learning Lab Webinar Part Four:
General Assembly Wrap-Up and Bringing Advocacy Home (RESCHEDULED TO: Thurs. Mar 4, 7:00 - 8:00pm),
will cover what happened in this General Assembly Session, how you can maintain a relationship with your legislator and ways that you can bring new legislation and ideas back to your community to enact change through your local school board. 

REGISTER HERE

 

 
 ConstituentConnection

 #ConstituentConnections (Jan 18th - Feb 5th)

Please register to participate in a Town Hall style discussion with your state delegate and senator. Dates and times will be based on legislator availability between January 18th and February 5th. This will be an open conversation to amplify our Virginia PTA priorities, share your personal stories and the challenges or opportunities your school faces. Your District Advocacy Chair will contact you with detailed information about how to participate. If you live in an area without a District Director a member of the Virginia PTA Advocacy Committee will schedule meetings with your representatives and support your Constituent Connection meeting.  

REGISTER HERE 

VirtualRally   

#VirtualRally - THURSDAY JANUARY 14th!

  • #TakeAction4Kids by sharing a picture or video highlighting your top priority! 
  • Tag 2 friends or a neighboring PTA! Challenge them to join you and #TakeAction4Kids.
  • Tag your legislators
  • Tag @VirginiaPTA and use hashtags so we can build excitement and momentum across the state.

 #VAPTAAdvocacy, #TakeAction4Kids, #VirtualRally, #ConstituentConnections, #SchoolStaffing&Equity

Virginia PTA 2021 Session Legislative Priorities you can reference for your signs.

Social Media Toolkit! 

WATCH THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION

Fast Links
General Assembly Information Main Page (Look up Legislators, Committees, Legislation, Budget etc)
Fast Link to Legislative Information System (to track bills)

Live Session Video
House of Delegates Chamber Video
House of Delegates Committee Video
Senate of Virginia Streaming

Key Committee Meeting Links & Scedule

House - Education (Monday, Wednesday 9am)
   Sub Committee: PreK-12 (Friday 7am)
   Sub Committee: SOL & SOQ (Monday 7:30am) 

House Appropriations (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 1/2 hour after adjournment)
   Sub Committee: Elementary and Secondary Education (Wednesday 4pm)

Senate Education & Health (Thursday 8am)
   Sub Committee: Public Education

Senate Finance & Appropriations (Tuesday & Wednesday 9am)
   Sub Committee: K-12 Education

QUICK REFERENCE

VAPTA Legislative Priorities & Resources 
Call to Action & Bill Watchlist for this Session!
Inside the Issues
Advocacy Afternoon Webinars

Helpful Links 
Who is My Legislator?
General Assembly Information
Legislative Information System (to track bills)
Virginia Department of Education list of bills
Virginia Public Access Project
Virginia Red Book, Capitol Connections
Glossary of Legislative Terms
How a Bill Becomes a Law (Kids Version)

Map of Capitol District
Map of Capitol Building

VIDEO RECAP OF CAPITOL DAY - 2020 SESSION!

 

QUESTIONS? Contact Vice President of Advocacy (advocacy@vapta.org)