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Utah

Sparks fly over bill cutting PTA dues

Parent who testified for the change quits group after 'inappropriate' e-mails sent

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  • And
    Feb. 25, 2009 8:52 a.m.

    With all that parental help, and the strong support from community - why does most of the dues need to go outside of the school - except National and State PTA has political agendas that they use the funds for via lobbyists.

  • Flagstaff Mom
    Feb. 24, 2009 3:30 p.m.

    PTOs can and do get insurance. That they can't is a common myth spread by the PTA.

    No one is suggesting that parents shouldn't be involved or that volunteer work doesn't bring value to schools. But parents can be involved and all that good work can and will continue, even if the group at the school isn't technically a PTA.

  • Reflections
    Feb. 24, 2009 1:14 p.m.

    It's all about the insurance. That's why we pay our dues. If you are a parent helping in a school, and serving caramel apples at the school carnival, and a kid chokes on the apple and his parents want to sue you ... PTA has insurance.

    Parents can go and help and make decisions on things, they just can't vote for who is in charge of the PTA if they aren't a member of the PTA. They can't vote on how the PTA spends the PTA money, but they can go to school board meetings and have a say in how the school district spends money. It's 5 dollars, who cares?

  • R Frandsen
    Feb. 24, 2009 7:43 a.m.

    Parents are needed in our Schools! Any organization willing put forth the hours of service, dedication, and committment to the welfare of our children should be applauded. The PTA is a strong force for good in the lives of our children. Five dollars a year is a small price to pay for the millions of dollars the PTA returns to public schools. Dollars, programs, support and volunteer hours spent on all children in public schools, not just on the children who have parents who are members of PTA. The PTA works to encourage all parents to be involved in the education of their children member or non-member alike. It is the constitutional right of parents to pay membership dues to PTA if they want to. It is the PTA's right to ask that its officers be members of its organization. There is room for all parents and organizations willing to support the education and success of our children.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 24, 2009 5:59 a.m.

    If the PTA wants to survive in this state they need to camp out on legislators lawns. Make these people accountable. Break up the monopoly of Republican anti-education representation. Throw them out of office.

  • nneumann
    Feb. 24, 2009 1:58 a.m.

    This bill has brought out a lot of discussion about whether or not schools should allow PTA in the door. Has anyone thought about what section 5 of SB199 means to other organizations. This morning I was listening to the radio and they were interviewing a young lady from Provo who had just won the Western States free-throw competition and was going to be competing against other young people across the country. They asked her how she got involved in this competition and she explained that there was contest held at her school which was sponsored by the Elks Club. If SB199 passes with section 5 in it, the Elks Club will no longer be welcome in her school. No more competition. Other organizations such as the Rotary Club will be not be allowed into the schools to honor students with awards for excellent work.

    Let's get back to what is really important. The well-being and education of our children. All parents are welcome into the schools whether they are a PTA member or not. Why nit-pick. Join or don't join, that's your choice - but be there!

  • nneumann
    Feb. 24, 2009 1:29 a.m.

    Why do we send $ to state and national PTA? What can they possibly do with all that money? That's easy to answer. They return it to the schools through training, awards and direct help. How many people are aware that when Katrina struck the South and destroyed homes and schools that the National PTA took thousands of backpacks filled with supplies and distributed them to needy children so they would have something with which to attend school. How did they supply them? Guess what - it was dues sent from across the country (including Utah)! States dues are returned to the schools through Region level boards in much the same way as National. Region boards train council boards who train local schools who train their own members. And of course, not one penny is spent in salary. All work is done voluntarily by parents (not just moms)who want to see ALL children succeed. National and State PTAs are able to learn from other states and pass on knowledge to Utah which can only benefit our children. Why do we send them dues? Because it benefits us all!

  • former treasurer
    Feb. 24, 2009 1:01 a.m.

    In response to Former Assistant: As a former treasurer myself, I'm surprised that your PTA only spent 1/4 of the funds raised by your organization. The schools I've been associated with have always spent as much money on our students as we could. We would only carry-over about 1/4 of our budget for the next year in case our fundraisers bombed. The PTAs that I am familiar with focus on raising funds (including a portion of the dues) in order to continue educational and physical fitness programs for the students. All members of the local schools PTA have the right to help choose what the budget should be for their school.

  • Bottom line?
    Feb. 23, 2009 7:26 p.m.

    The members of PTA at my elementary school put in long hours to support the school, the teachers, and the students. They work on attendance, the Reflections awards and numerous other things. Most of these volunteers could run a small/large business instead of volunteering their time. The money often goes to student awards, teacher dinners and other kindnesses, and field trips. In true Utah legislature fashion this group of volunteers is being bashed for supporting their school...and sorry, I give no credence to the Collins complaint. She'd be welcome to support and volunteer in any capacity in the school. Of course she couldn't be president. Why would she want to be president of a group she doesn't want to join? The PTA's and PTO's of this state are parents and teachers working together to help children, especially with the parents supporting the teachers. Honestly, that's the bottom line and the parents (moms and dads) are great. PTA memeber or not, volunteer at your school and support the education of your children.

  • Tchr4vr
    Feb. 23, 2009 1:50 p.m.

    To Former PTA Officer: PTA is in-step with the rest of the nation and our students; Bigots with their own agendas to push, i.e. Gay-bashing, are out-of-step!! This isn't even about those issues, it's about dues. PTA has a hard enough time trying to operate in my school, and is often helped by those is higher offices. A PTO wouldn't have this ability -- no support, no resources! Let the PTA do what they do best, taking care of things for which we teachers are very grateful.

  • RE: Former PTA Officer
    Feb. 23, 2009 1:41 p.m.

    When and where did you see the "Heather.." book? I have been attending the State PTA Conventions for over 14 years and I have never seen that book at any of them. Please tell us where and when, i.e. date, at least a year, and location, physical location.

  • Former PTA Officer
    Feb. 23, 2009 1:01 p.m.

    "Heather Has Two Mommies" was one of several books present at the PTA convention and as part of the display promoting Utah awareness of social issues - promoting the Gay and Lesbian agenda here in UTAH. Perhaps the responder would like to hide the facts as to what I personally saw as a Legislative Vice-President here in Utah. The promotion is out of step with Utah values, but PTA dues help that agenda.

  • FamilyDecision
    Feb. 23, 2009 12:41 p.m.

    At the time of budget cuts this bill takes away another "penny' from our cash-deprived schools. PTA dues are used to provide services to students and parents, it's a "neighbor helps neighbor" type of support. If one parent can't or does not want to pay $5, then the other parent will, and the moneys will fund activities for both families. Why should anybody kick out an organization "with dues" to invite to schools a parent organization "without dues". Leave this decision to individual families, not to legislature, if you really care about equality.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 23, 2009 12:04 p.m.

    PCE--Parents for Choice in Education seems to have many people on its payroll trying to sway public opinion on issues such as vouchers or the elimination of a true parent led education--the PTA. This bill is the antithesis of what Bramble purports it to be. Its sole purpose is to ban the PTA in retaliation for their noble efforts of repealing the Voucher law the legislature had been paid to put through.

    Before this current Bramble led attack happened, our legislature eliminated the public's right to challenge laws through the petitioning process. The courts struck that one off the books. It was created solely to block any efforts of the people to stop vouchers the next time they come around.

    There is nothing different in this attack. We need to hold these politicians accountable and put true representatives of the people in office. I just wonder what the next target is going to be?

  • Sen Bramble
    Feb. 23, 2009 11:35 a.m.

    Sen. Bramble has been waiting to get back at the PTA for their work against vouchers. Bramble was one of the leaders in the vochers and tried to pass the law against the will of the people. Now he is attacking the PTA. There are much bigger issues in education then the PTA. I have seen what good work the PTA does in the schools. They have fundraisers that provide money for the schools that the schools couldn't function without. People who do not want to pay the $5 can still have a voice in the schools; but really it's $5.00.

  • BondnGirls
    Feb. 23, 2009 11:14 a.m.

    I am amazed at the animosity shown towards PTA in many of these comments. There is nothing self-serving about what I do with PTA. Yes, I could just go home and spend all my time with my kids, but what about all those kids that don't have good influences in their lives? I volunteer my time for them, too, and my kids love to help me. PTA lobbies - yes - but for programs and laws that will HELP ALL CHILDREN; not just their own. I don't know any Principal who checks for PTA cards at the door - they will take help from anybody and talk to anybody about their children's education. If this bill is really about encouraging parental involvement, why in the world would you try to exclude the largest parent organization in the state?

  • Hatuletoh
    Feb. 23, 2009 11:14 a.m.

    Goodness gracious, Mr. Bramble, how about you attend to some actual business (i.e., ethics reform; budgetary shortfalls) and we'll worry about the secret agendas of moms with cookies some other year? I'm sure the PTA could use some improvement, but now really is not the time for "public servants" to be charging at social-issue windmills with Mitzi "Sancho Panza" Collins following behind.

    Then again, it's probably not really about the PTA. It's about pandering for votes of the ultra-conservative, same as usual.

  • Get Serious
    Feb. 23, 2009 9:56 a.m.

    Does someone just want to give that lady 5 bucks so she can be PTA president? Our conservative legislators would LOVE us to believe that the PTA is evil. One less obstacle in privatizing education in Utah. The PTA has only been an influence for good in our schools. Oh, and we've also done he books for our schools PTA. Shame on that secretary for allowing the PTA to not spend the money in their own school. She was part of the problem.

  • Concerned Mommy
    Feb. 23, 2009 9:28 a.m.

    In the article I read: "Bramble said rumors that his bill is revenge on the PTA because of its support for school vouchers is untrue."

    Was this an intentional error in wording? The PTA actually OPPOSED school vouchers, while Bramble couldn't wait to prostitute himself to the national voucher support movement. Please adjust this article to reflect the truth, D-News.

    In addition, Collins seems to be complaining that she can't "move up" within an organization that she refuses to pay her dues for due to their "liberal agenda" (i.e. she was for vouchers, they against). But this doesn't address the fact that Collins or ANY parent can currently form a group and have equal access to schools and administrators. If they aren't given that access, it's something they should take up with those administrators,

    Bramble, Eagle Forum, Sutherland Institute, etc have obviously not given up their "pro-voucher" fight to undermine our public schools.

    Bramble's bill is as ridiculous as they are.

  • Former assistant
    Feb. 23, 2009 9:25 a.m.

    My wife was at one time the PTA secretary. I was her dutiful assistant. She (we) kept the books for the PTA. The PTA held fundraisers and spent only about 1/4 of the money raised. The rest of the money went into the PTA savings account and earned a pitiful interest. The PTA just kept building this nest egg and rolling it over one year to the next. After this experience we stopped paying PTA dues. We eventually stopped sending our kids to public schools. Hmm.

  • re: Former PTA Officer
    Feb. 23, 2009 9:22 a.m.

    You must have not been a PTA Officer in Utah. In Utah, the PTA does not promote the Gay and Lesbian agenda and on a National level none of the Utah PTA dues go to promote the Gay and Lesbian agenda. This is thanks to a federal law that makes it legal for dues paying organization members to ask that their money not go to a candidate or ideal that they do not agree with. Since Utah PTA does not agree with the Gay and Lesbian agendas or ideals, none of our money goes to pay for them. You cannot even find that book in a Utah PTA, unless one of your local leaders ordered it from National PTA and paid for it his or her self.

  • Sen. Bramble...
    Feb. 23, 2009 9:18 a.m.

    are you willing to write legislation that will make it illegal for the Utah State Legislature to be a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures(NCSL)? I notice that you are an At-Large Legislative Member of the governing committee.

    Since they are a membership charging organization and have opportunities for non-legislators to join. I want to join, but I do not want to be charged any dues to join and I want full authority to vote on all matters, including who is running it and how the money is spent. You see I don't think that they should be spending time on immigration issues, that is a federal issue and they shouldn't be spending time on legislative ethics, we don't need anyone telling the legislators about ethics they are the experts!

    Frankly, Sen. Bramble and supporters, this bill is a waste of your very limited session time. The Federal Government already requires equal access to all parents and parent groups in a public school. If your PTO feels unwelcome then they need to meet with the administration and fix that problem on a local level, not on a state level.

  • Former PTA Officer
    Feb. 23, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    I was a Legislative VP in the local PTA - yest the have someone with that title in every school. I found that the PTA provided a lot of good in the school in brining parents together with classroom teachers to help student. But there is also another side of promoting legislation that is very much driven by national and state agendas including the promotion of materials and topics into schools such as "Heather Has Two Mommies". Local membership dues goes in part to support that agenda, regardless of what local members want. I support the legislation.

  • Ask Dawn
    Feb. 23, 2009 8:37 a.m.

    The Deseret News ought to go back in their files and find out why Dawn Frandsen with the support of a great majority of the parents pulled Wasatch Elementary out of the PTA when she was the PTA president there several years ago. Or, have Dawn write a piece about the PTA's national agenda that this $1.75 per member goes to be pay for. She is a very bright, articulate person who will receive no financial gain if this law is passed -- as it should be.

    There are some things in the national PTA's written agenda that would curl most Utah parents' hair (and I am not just talking about the narrow minority of parents' who affiliate with the Eagle Forum or the Sutherlund Institute).

  • state and national influence
    Feb. 23, 2009 8:36 a.m.

    I for one want the opportunity to influence state and national policy. When the AIDS epidemic came out, everything was about safe sex. Our council PTA sponsored a resolution that asked state and national PTA to focus on abstinence. And guess what - it passed overwhelmingly with help from many other states from many different religions and backgrounds. The national wording from our resolution was used on all their AIDS educational material. We can sit in our own little home and school or we can make a difference at the national level. I for one value that opportunity to have a voice.

  • Stupid Bill
    Feb. 23, 2009 8:27 a.m.

    Utah ledislatue get out of our lives. If Collins does not like the national PTA then she can create a PTO at the school. If she is willing others will follow. The if she wants to wave fees more power to her. It's my experiance that if she is willing to do the job as PTA/PTO president, the school is not going to care if it is PTA or some new PTO. All they want are people to help with parties, reflections, science fair, eye screenings, scoliosis testing, etc, etc, etc. We don't need more stupid laws on our books. Retaliation? You bet it is. There is no other reason for this stipid ledgislation.

  • jumipin' jack
    Feb. 23, 2009 7:46 a.m.

    If the representatives of the Utah Evil Forum and the Sutherland Destitute support this it is definitely a bad idea.

  • RE: eagle Fourm 6:48
    Feb. 23, 2009 7:23 a.m.

    "do you want a state and national voice for parents and children?".... No I don't.
    Because I don't agree with atleast some of what that PTA "voice" is saying at the state and national level. We can always appeal directly to our state and federal officials, perhaps not as effective, but atleast I know what message is being sent.
    I'm definitely going to look into this PTO thing... There must be a reason that most schools nationally have gone to this format. Why are we dragging are feet in Utah?

  • Parent Assoc or Leg. Assoc
    Feb. 23, 2009 7:21 a.m.

    Its not that Utah PTA wont do what Bramble is asking, its that they cant. Thats what a member organization is all aboutmembers directing the organization. Changes must be done through the membershipnot the legislature. This should all be resolved without Sen. Brambles help!

  • Work Together
    Feb. 23, 2009 7:12 a.m.

    There are many ways to participate in PTA. PTA rules do not keep anyone from being involved. One person mentioned she couldnt direct where her money was spent. However, she is not required pay dues to PTA, and she can donate any amount of money to the PTA, or through the Utah School Foundation, and can direct exactly where that money is spent. There are also other leadership opportunities in every school through the Community Council; PTA is not the only avenue available to anyone. Parents may also sponsor another parent organization at their own school. This is done in some Utah schools, and regularly done in many schools around the nation. PTAs and PTOs work together many schools, imagine that ladies, working together. What about not making it PTO vs. PTA, but PTO and PTA. Im sure PTA (or PTO) would prefer to have every parent as a member in PTA (or PTO). Im sure both recognize however, there are some parents whose mission and purpose might differ from that which PTA (or PTO) can provide. As a parent I'd rather we came up with the solution and not Sen. Bramble!

  • PTA is anti-liberty, pro-tyranny
    Feb. 23, 2009 7:12 a.m.

    Listen to them on Utah's capitol hill. PTA representatives are testifying in favor of almost every anti-liberty bill that the Righteouslature considers.

  • Basic Question
    Feb. 23, 2009 7:03 a.m.

    Everyone needs to go to the two basic questions. Do parent groups have equal access? The answer is yes. School districts recognize PTOs and PTAs both and sometimes in the same school. Can an organization related to a public entity charge a membership fee? Again yes. Nearly all of our public organizations have associations or organizations that serve them including school board associations, superintentendent associations, public employee associations, etc and many of them charge fees for their services. Why would anyone want their fee waived to join a group if they don't agree with their agenda. Start your own group!

  • Eagle Forum
    Feb. 23, 2009 6:48 a.m.

    This is a carefully orchestrated agenda that has Eagle Forum written all over it. First retaliate against PTA for supporting vouchers. Next, get an innocent sounding victim to tell how harsh the PTA has been. Finally, get the phone tree to spew their anti-public education agenda in these comments. Who is running this state, the people or Gayle?

    Whether you like PTOs or PTAs, the question is, "Do you want a state and national voice for parents and children?" If you think a voice is needed, you need PTA, not unaffiliated PTOs.

    Can you guess what Gayle's Eagle Forum and our pro-voucher legislators want?

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 23, 2009 5:47 a.m.

    Banning pta parents is only a step towards forcing vouchers once again on the state.

  • ethete
    Feb. 22, 2009 12:20 p.m.

    This is just another example of the Utah legislature seeking revenge because the PTA lobbies for children. The PTA is just about the only voice for the children of Utah. If the legislature can quiet the PTA, vouchers could make a comeback.

  • Out of Control
    Feb. 22, 2009 7:06 a.m.

    Everyone is getting out on control on this issue which is exactly what the Bramble is promoting. Lets not talk about the budget cuts. There is $450 million dollars being cut from the education budget this year. Thats more than $750 a child and $22,000 per classroom. What do they have parents dealing with? Whether $5.00 should go to the PTA to; support volunteers, programs, and activities for our underfunded schools. We are missing the boat people. Forget this issue and start talking about funding our schools this year!

  • CP
    Feb. 22, 2009 4:31 a.m.

    I don't mind having the PTA, but I don't think it's fair to charge parents a fee to join. A parent should feel welcomed to join, cause believe it or not even $5.00 that the PTA ask for at the beginning of the school year is alot of $$ for some families, especially those with kids in jr. high and high school when they just finish paying school fees and the last thing we want to do is pay another fee. that's why I don't join the PTA cause I shouldn't be obligated to pay to want to help my kids' schools. I don't want to pay to help a national organization.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 21, 2009 7:53 p.m.

    This bill makes complete sense to me, if I want to join my local school PTA I can, without being required to give any of my hard earnd money to the national PTA that advocates for political issues I don't agree with.

    If the PTA does a good job people will continue to pay.

    No-one should have to justify the reason they don't want to pay to play to the ladies at their PUBLIC school. Their tax dollars already pay for their ability to participate in anything that goes on at their PUBLIC school.

    If PTA, a PRIVATE organization wants to require dues then they ought to go build their own building, get their own copy machines and then they can support any political agenda they choose.

  • Fredd
    Feb. 21, 2009 6:33 p.m.

    You all realize the women on the PTA are your relief society members? They are you neighbors? Talk about demonizing. Sheesh.

  • Voucher fight
    Feb. 21, 2009 6:33 p.m.

    Bramble wants the PTA to go away for one simple reason: Vouchers. This parent group is a threat to the machinations of voucher proponents such as Bramble. This actually reminds me of the political posturing we see in Venezuela and Iran. I'm willing to bet that we will see the legislature propose vouchers once again in the next couple years. I've talked with various legislators who refuse to look at other ways to support school funding because they are dead set on vouchers. There hasn't been one bill proposed since the voucher debacle that tries to secure stable revenue streams for education. In fact, the opposite has been occurring. I won't name any names, but one Senate Republican and one House Republican both told me that "there is no other way but vouchers. End of discussion."

    I wonder why we elect people who are supposed to represent us and work for us, but are incapable of doing just that. The legislature is good at getting money for roads and special interest projects, but can't ever seem to find any money for K-12 education which is only now 33% of the state budget.

  • What a laugh
    Feb. 21, 2009 5:50 p.m.

    How much are these dues? Your brats education is free. HEAD TAX, HEAD TAX. Get these school welfarers
    off the role. Maybe if parents acted like parents at home.Have you heard of discipline & resect, the schools could teach reading, writing & arithmatic if your mouthy kids would learn & do their home work.
    PTA & PTO's need to take a back seat to the teachers and let them do their jobs. Quit your griping, teachers have it hard enough with your unruly brats then have their parents think their spawn can do no wrong.

  • Former PTSA Pres
    Feb. 21, 2009 5:49 p.m.

    Wow, you folks give PTA far too much credit or power. As a former PTSA member/president I did not get involved in 'running' the school - we held a couple of fundraisers each year to raise money to buy things for the school and for teacher apprepciate week; and we held a book fair during Parent Teacher Conferences.

    This PTA PTO issue sounds like a couple of moms didn't get what they wanted and went whining to Bramble who just loves to kick at public education.

  • Concerned
    Feb. 21, 2009 5:34 p.m.

    I used to be a very strong supporter of the PTA. The PTA had an honorable and great reputation. However, over the past 10 years I have seen the PTA become more and more liberal and supporting a political agenda rather than truly supporting the children and parents they should be serving.

    Generally I believe that in the local schools the PTA does a great job. It's when it hits a State and National level that it gets away from the guidance of the parents and turns to an agenda advanced by large national views.

    Keep the PTA locally based and operated by parents in individual schools. If another PTO wants to get started in a school--they certainly should be allowed to do so.

    PTA--thanks for your past service but it may be time to make some big changes. I won't support your political agenda any longer.

  • Mr. Realist
    Feb. 21, 2009 5:32 p.m.

    I have the solution - Get rid of the useless, time consuming, money wasting PTA's. Parents Please! The most important action you could take would be to stop attending or participating in these ridiculous meetings. - Go home and spend this time instead with your children. And while spending this time with your children - try actually talking and listening to them. - You might be suprised how much more meaningful or productive this could be.

  • IbSarcastic
    Feb. 21, 2009 5:14 p.m.

    "Leeches they are" is right! PTA is a PAC in disguise! Those PTA people go to the Capitol disguised as caring moms and grandmas and push through legislation that favors children! They must be stopped. How can we let them lobby for our children any longer? We should not allow this Parent Teacher Association to affiliate with parents or teachers anymore! The PTA motto of "every child; one voice" should be changed to "children should be seen, not heard".

    Of course the PTA lobbies and has an "agenda". Any well-functioning organization has an agenda or a mission statement. PTA has a noble agenda - not a hidden agenda - to advocate for children and for education. The PTA has been accused of only caring about $. What do they do with the money from fundraisers? Give it back to the schools. Pretty pathetic that our schools don't have enough funds, so someone has to hold a bake sale (or volunteer their precious time) to make up the difference.

    Kids succeed in school when their parents get involved - PTA provides this opportunity. So can a PTO. Either is great. Keep the PTA in Utah!

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 21, 2009 2:19 p.m.

    I wish our legislators would get out of public education. They already control the funding, the curriculum, class sizes, and now they want to control parent organizations. I honestly believe that many of them won't stop until they completely destroy public education.

  • Go home Bramble
    Feb. 21, 2009 10:29 a.m.

    What parent would want to serve in their local school if Bramble and the legislature get involved with it? The State Senate is a group of vengeful, weird men who support themselves in crazy ideas. And to think this is the year of Lincoln?

  • lbhansen
    Feb. 21, 2009 9:16 a.m.

    Huh? I spend 40-50 hours a week as a volunteer leader working with parents who have problems in their schools, need help navigating the system, and need to have questions answered. I am a parent myself, with 20 people on my PTA board who are all working for free to help parents and children, no matter who they are - PTA members or not. Who is going to do that if there is no PTA organization?

    No one is excluding those who don't pay dues. No principal would fail to listen to a parent - as a matter of fact - no principal is going to have a list of which parents are PTA members and which are not.

    This is a vengeful bill against those who love children and have spent their lives trying to help them. How sad is that?

  • Getting Even
    Feb. 21, 2009 7:39 a.m.

    Regardless of what Bramble says, this is the "We hate PTA legislation" this year -- it's all about getting even with the PTA for opposing vouchers the past few years. The PTA is the strongest advocate for public education in the state. This is BAD legislation (like many others being discussed on the hill these days).

  • Leeches they are
    Feb. 21, 2009 4:02 a.m.

    The names of these groups are really confusing as they are merely a political action committee (PAC) in disguise. They should be declared a political group that is in no way affiliated with teachers or parents in school matters. They are politically motivated by higher eschelons to be watch dogs and grass roots spokespersons for other political groups legislating laws. Teachers shun these meeting and don't attend them unless they need support for teachers pay raise or other financial matters. PTA's should be barred from the schools and seeking fraudlent funds from parents as they scam the system with false inuendos and intentions. The same can be said for the UEA, they too are nothing but a selfserving politically motivated organzation. Education can do without these groups as they do not serve parents wanting to get involved in education in any direct or indirect means.

  • PTA stinks
    Feb. 21, 2009 12:15 a.m.

    and has since it corrupted our school back in the 80's. We had a great PTO and all of the funds stayed in our own school. Leadership changed and the new yahoos thought PTA would be better. We tried to warn them that PTA only cares about $$$.

    Don't be swayed by this organization. The entire school system would be 100% better without these leeches.

  • Dave
    Feb. 20, 2009 11:44 p.m.

    This brouhaha illustrates the belief I have had for over twenty years that the PTA is essentially an extension of the UEA in Utah. A little competition for direction in the education of our children should be welcome.

  • anonymous
    Feb. 20, 2009 11:02 p.m.

    Can't bylaws be amended? State PTA says it has to pay dues to the national organization but I can't believe that could not be altered if this law passed. And if people love PTA so much they'll keep paying their dues and there won't be any problem, right? If they stop paying dues and it creates difficulty for PTA, then that sends a message that it's time for a change. I think PTA is overreacting. This bill seems fair and overdue. It's time people that don't want to join PTA (and there are a lot of them) have equal opportunities in their schools. Don't let PTA bully you legislators! I know they are a powerful lobby - and that's not always a good thing.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 20, 2009 9:04 p.m.

    This is exactly why I don't join the PTA. Why does $1.75 go to national? Are you kidding me? I volunteer my time and talents to the school with out expecting anything in return and I am grateful to get a high 5 from the kids who benefit. We had a brawl at our school once and lost our charter because of it! GOOD GRIEF Ladies... grow up. You sound like you are from wisteria lane.

  • lbhansen
    Feb. 20, 2009 9:02 p.m.

    Title I parents are not "less than". They understand what is important for their students. We offered scholarships for PTA membership this year for 20 parents in a Title I school. Not one parent wanted one, they wanted to pay membership. They love being members of the PTA, because they love what PTA does for them and their children.

    Should an organization that has 50 members in one school in a school district be given the same voice at the table as an organization that has 10,000 members? How about a parent organization of 4 or 5?

    Let's say a few parents - 4 or 5 - get angry with their school's PTO and form a new parent group with just the 4 of them. Should the 4 of them get the same say as the PTO that represents 400 parents?

    I am a little fuzzy about the practical application of this bill.