The PTA & HB281

With the Governor and the right crashing down on educators’ ability to be vocal about democracy, now the fight is showing up at the steps of the PTA. This week I tweeted early election polling locations via my PTA Twitter and it wasn't lost on me the privilege I had to unabashedly inform my school and parents about opportunities to vote.

Last election cycle, I registered some of my parents to vote after my PTA meetings and I talked to them about recapture and STAAR test reform. We've hosted gatherings to talk school safety and I've planned to host the BE SMART program to teach our kids about gun safety.

In a time where others are being silenced, I get to be vocal about the need for funding our public schools, wage increases to our educators, school safety, vital programs like after school services and nutrition programs, and I get the grace to do this with the backing of State and National PTA.

I put down a lot to be able to effectively focus on my run for State Representative, but I still ran for next year’s PTA president of my school. I see the amazing work that the PTA does and the organization’s impact on our schools and our young citizens.

House Bill 281 was written to target organizations like the PTA who advocate for public education. Currently PTAs throughout the country rely on in-kind donations from the schools they serve. An example is I, as the PTA, am facilitating a popcorn fundraiser: I need to make 400 fliers to send home to students and I need a space to store the popcorn once it’s delivered. Currently, the school allows me to use the copy machine, provides me 400 sheets of paper and gives me a storage closet. I, in return, make $9,000 in popcorn sells and cut them checks to pay for field trips, library books, grants, and any other needs they have in order to help bridge funding gaps. So you give me a copy machine, paper, and a closet, and I give you $9,000 in funding; it’s a sound investment. HB281 would eliminate my school’s ability to give me vital resources I would need to help them with funding.

HB 281 Threatens PTAs in Texas