Learn and Advocate for Public Education

All Montlake PTA members and families have a powerful opportunity to:

  • Learn about the policies that affect our students and all students in our state and district
  • Use our voices to Advocate for leaders and policies that will best serve students in our district

Every voice is important. Join us in helping make our education system the best it can be!

Here are a few resources to help you Learn and Advocate.  If you have questions, suggestions, or want to get further involved, reach out to us!

LEARN

These are a few resources we think are helpful for understanding how SPS and Washington State Education policy and funding work:

  • The Seattle Hall Pass Podcast has is hosted by two SPS parents and covers news and conversation  about Seattle Public Schools.  Many of the episodes are informative. The "2024 Legislative Session begins" episode provides a helpful overview of key issues being considered in the 2024 legislative session. 
  •  2022 Citizen’s Guide to Washington State K-12 Finance
  • Washington State PTA has some helpful resources on their website including on their main Advocacy and Advocacy and Legislative Resources pages. 

ADVOCATE
Our goal is to align our efforts with Seattle Council PTSA (SCPTSA) & Washington State PTA (WSPTA), so that we are advocating for all children, including our own (WSPTA Advocacy Focus Areas). Below are some ways you can help:

  • Advocate for more school funding.
  • Local Level Meet with SPS Board Director Chandra Hampson (our District 3 Representative)  (notices to video calls with Director Hampson will be sent to all families at school)
  • Follow Director Hampson on  Facebook
  • Attend Seattle Public Schools Board meetings:  Click here for schedule and information how to attend
  • Serve on SPS Committees
  • Join the Washington State PTA Action Network to receive action alerts to communicate with our state legislators.
  • Understand the organization of Seattle Public Schools and how to best direct your concerns.  In addition to contacting our board representative, you may also email Tony Ruby.

Any questions? Want to get involved? Email advocacy@montlakepta.org 


Equity Funding

Montlake commits to donating 10% of all fundraising dollars to the Montlake PTA Equity Fund. The money is donated to schools without PTA fundraisers and is a first step towards addressing the inequity of some Seattle schools receiving funding for staff from their PTAs while others do not. 

Why do some PTAs pay for staff? The short answer is because public schools have been historically underfunded. However, all schools could use additional staff but not all schools have PTAs that can afford to pay for staff positions. It is important to know that change is needed at the district and state level so that schools can meet the needs of their students. Advocacy for these reforms is the real solution, but it takes time.

What PTAs pay for can inform what changes are needed for all schools. This year, we will be sharing information on how to advocate so that all schools can receive what our PTA is funding for Montlake:

• Art teachers in every school.
• More resources for students with learning differences: more staff and better ways to identify students with learning needs.
• Better basic funding for the smallest elementary schools in our district. That is, more administrative staff and specialists for small schools. 


How to advocate for more public school funding

As schools are planning to reopen, facing decreased enrollment and increased costs, we are asking for you to advocate for more school funding in the state legislature. We need immediate action from as many of you as possible. Please take five minutes now to send three emails to your legislators about two bills and a budget that will make more funds available to schools.  There are so many dire needs because of the pandemic and they need to hear that school funding should have high priority.

Update:  Both bills have passed their house of origin.  HB 1476 is now under consideration in the Senate and SSB 5128 is now under consideration in the House.  Please continue to email our legislators to ensure these bills pass.

For each letter:
  - Copy the text of the letter into a new email message.
  - Personalize the text with your name and address at the bottom of the letter.
  - Copy and paste the list of email addresses for that letter.  Note:  Each letter has some different email addresses.
  - Send the email.
  - Forward this email to family and friends who live in Washington state and ask them to also email letters to their legislators.

Make sure to include advocacy@montlakepta.org so that we can track how many letters have been sent and report that number to Seattle Council PTSA who is coordinating this effort.

If you live outside of the 43rd district, you will need to change the first three emails of each letter to your own three legislators. You can locate your district and representatives on this website. You can find their emails in this online directory.  You will also need to edit the letters to indicate the district where you reside.