Proposed Resolutions for Utah PTA 2017 Advocacy Conference - Full Text

Utah PTA
COM 2017

 

PARTISAN POLITICS AND REDISTRICTING

 

Whereas,      One of the purposes of Utah PTA is to advocate for adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth, including voting rights of all adults in Utah. Utah PTA also encourages positive involvement in the political process by parents and families; 1, 2 and

Whereas,      Amendments 15, 19 and 26 of the constitution of the United States of America define the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude or sex or age over 18; 3, 4 and

Whereas,      The absence of a federal provision conferring the fundamental right to vote has left Americans at the mercy of state constitutions, state legislatures, state political parties, local bureaucrats, and the judiciary system. The states determine who is qualified to vote and establish the rules and conditions for holding elections and redistricting; 5, 6 and

Whereas,      One of the most critical ways that individuals can influence governmental decision-making is through voting; 7, 8 and

Whereas,      Voting is a foundation and sign of strong communities. It takes an active and engaged public to ensure broad representation and public officials responsive to community concerns; 9, 10 and

Whereas,      The bond between government and citizens, is first developed through voting.  The bond will grow when both sides feel mutual respect through legislation that protects basic rights as described in the constitution; 11, 12 now, therefore, be it

Resolved,     That Utah PTA and its constituent associations urge the Utah Legislature to bring the government closer to all Utahns by supporting legislation that protects each voter’s right to be heard in an election without partisan politics controlling the nomination and election processes, and be it further  

Resolved,     That Utah PTA and its constituent associations urge the Utah Legislature to bring the government closer to all Utahns by supporting legislation that redistricts legislative boundaries that fairly represent the people within the boundaries instead of the political parties, and be it further

Resolved,     That Utah PTA and its constituent associations urge the Utah Legislature to bring the government closer to all Utahns by supporting legislation that protects the public’s right to collect signatures in the election/voting process when they feel they have not been heard, and be it further

Resolved,     That Utah PTA and it constituent associations support parents in being actively involved in any or all election processes is in the best interest of all children. 

 

Documentation:

1 http://www.utahpta.org/purposes

2 http://www.utahpta.org/mission-statement

3 http://www.in.gov/judiciary/citc/museum/voting/

4 http://www.advancementproject.org/campaigns/Protect-Your-Vote

5 http://b.3cdn.net/advancement/ae94ee5ad8686f5760_27m6vr0j7.pdf, pg 3.

6 https://www.usa.gov/voting-laws

7 STUDY GUIDE: The Right to Vote, University of Minnesota Human Rights Center. http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/edumat/studyguides/votingrights.html

8 http://www.people-press.org/2015/11/23/8-perceptions-of-the-publics-voice-in-government-and-politics/

9 National PTA Nonprofits, Voting and Elections Guide pg 4.  http://s3.amazonaws.com/rdcms-pta/files/production/public/Advocacy/Final%20NonProfitVoteGuide.pdf

10 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civic_engagement

11 National PTA Nonprofits, Voting and Elections Guide pg 4   http://s3.amazonaws.com/rdcms-pta/files/production/public/Advocacy/Final%20NonProfitVoteGuide.pdf

12 http://photos.state.gov/libraries/amgov/30145/publications-english/USA_Elections_InBrief.pdf

 

 

Utah PTA
EDU 2017

SUPPORT FOR COUNSELORS, PSYCHOLOGISTS, AND SOCIAL WORKERS IN SCHOOLS

 

WHEREAS,  School counselors, psychologists, and social workers are a vital, but often overlooked part of the education system, playing key roles in supporting students in systemic ways and designing and delivering comprehensive school counseling programs that improve a range of student learning and behavioral outcomes;1, 2 and

WHEREAS,  The roles of school counselor, psychologist, and social worker are different based on education, experience, and focus, (school psychologists primarily focus on special needs or exceptional learner subgroups, school counselors serve the entire school population, and social workers have special expertise in understanding family and community systems and linking students and families with their community) however services provided by individual school counselors, psychologists, and social workers may overlap and duties will vary from one school system to the next – and from one school to the next;3, 4, 5 and

WHEREAS,  For the past century, counselors have been hard at work performing many roles in their schools, from guiding student decision making concerning college and career readiness, helping students to address personal problems to decrease dropout rates, and collaborating with parents and other stakeholders, to other non-counseling related duties such as administering tests, teaching, and filling other;1 6 and

WHEREAS,  Elementary school counseling programs play an integral role in preparing students to be college and career ready and elementary school counselors provide academic, personal, social, and life skills development opportunities that are necessary for student success and life-long learning; 7,8 and

WHEREAS,  In 2015, suicide was the leading cause of death for Utahns ages 10 to 17 and the rate of suicide among Utah youth ages 10 to 17 has been increasing since 2011;9, 10 and

WHEREAS   Many professionals within a school help to support student’s positive mental health including social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, and other specialized instructional support personnel; these support personnel understand that students unmet mental health needs can be a significant obstacle to student academic, career and social/emotional development and can even compromise school safety; and are prepared to address barriers and to assess ways to maximize students’ in schools, communities and their family structure by directing students and parents to school and/or community resources for additional assistance through referrals that treat mental health issues (suicidal ideation, violence, abuse, depression, etc.);5, 11, 12 and

WHEREAS,  Unlike a generation ago, the majority of job openings in the next decade will require at least some postsecondary education; and experts estimate that despite high unemployment rates overall, American businesses are in need of 97 million workers for high- or middle-skill jobs, yet only 45 million Americans currently possess the necessary education and skills to qualify for these positions;1, 13 and

WHEREAS,  Counselors are uniquely positioned to help address these key gaps in education and workforce development, given their unique position within the school, which allows them to work with the whole child, supporting both academic and nonacademic needs;1, 13 and

WHEREAS   Utah statute requires that an individual learning plan or a plan for college and career readiness be implemented for each student which recognizes the student’s accomplishments; plans, monitors, and manages education and career development; and involves the students, parents, and school personnel in preparation and implementation;14, 15 and

WHEREAS   Studies show that children have greater academic achievement, motivation, positive attitudes about self, and that the sense of control over their environment improves when their parents are involved in their education and the school counselor is the primary contact for many parents to connect with the school;16, 17 and

WHEREAS   In 2016, Utah’s average counselor to student ratio for 7th-12th grades was 1-to-350.97, and 1-to-725 when considering all public schools, kindergarten through 12th grade, making it the third from the bottom throughout the country, however the American School Counselor Association, a nongovernmental professional development organization, recommends that schools have a 1-to-250 ratio, and Utah has a 1-to-350 ratio requirement established by the State School Board in 2009; 18,19 now, therefore, be it

Resolved,      That Utah PTA and its constituent associations be involved in local and statewide efforts to educate parents, teachers, administrators and policy makers including school board members, to understand the need for and benefit of counseling programs in both secondary and elementary schools, and be it further

Resolved,      That Utah PTA and its constituent associations work to fully implement the use of quality College and Career Readiness plans in its secondary and elementary schools, and be it further

Resolved,      That Utah PTA provide training to local PTA leaders and parents on the importance of partnering with school counselors, psychologists and social workers in recognizing mental health concerns in students and increasing family involvement in guiding the student through their educational plan, especially in areas of academic planning for college and career readiness, college affordability, and the college and career admission processes and be it further

Resolved,      That Utah PTA actively advocate for funding to effectively train school counselors, psychologists, and social workers in trauma informed practices, how to implement and awareness programs, and to recognize danger signals and to make appropriate referrals of children who are at risk for suicide and mental health issues, and be it further

Resolved,      That Utah PTA and its constituent associations actively advocate for increased funding for additional trained counselors, psychologists, and social workers to assist and educate families and youth in both elementary and secondary schools participating in the public school system.

(This Resolution updates and replaces EDU 1990-7 Trained Professionals, EDU 2001-1 Elementary Counseling and Guidance Programs, and EDU 2013-2 Education Planning: SEP, SEOP and FEP).

 

Documentation

1 2011 National Survey of School Counselors “Counseling at a Crossroads”. November 2011. The College Board National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA). Accessed on September 1,, 2017 at http://www.civicenterprises.net/MediaLibrary/Docs/counseling_at_a_crossroads.pdf

2 American School Counselor Association “Comprehensive School Counseling Programs”. (Adopted 1988, Last Revision 2017). Accessed on September 1, 2017 at https://www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors-members/publications/position-statements

3 School Psychologists vs School Counselors, School-Psychologists.com, Accessed on September 9, 2017 at http://www.school-psychologists.com/articles/school-psychologist-vs-school-counselor.html

4 They sound similar: School Counselor and School Psychologist. Capella University, August 11, 2016. Accessed on September 9, 2017 at https://www.capella.edu/blogs/cublog/school-counselor-vs-school-psychologist/

5 School Social Worker’s Role in Addressing Students’ Mental Health Needs and Increasing Academic Achievement. School Social Work Association of America. Accessed September 9, 2017 at http://www.sswaa.org/?600

6 Impact of Accountability on Role Confusion: Implications for School Counselor Practice, Allison C. Paolini and Cindy M. Topdemir, Ideas and Research You Can Use: VISTAS 2013. Accessed on September 1, 2017 at http://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/vistas/impact-of-accountability-on-role-confusion.pdf

7 College and Career Readiness School Counseling Program Model 2nd Edition 2016. Utah State Board of Education. Accessed on September 1, 2017 at http://www.uen.org/ccr/counselor-toolkit/documents/CCRpmBOOK5_10_ADA_version.pdf

8 Effectiveness of School Counseling, American Counseling Association. 2007. Accessed on September 1, 2017 at https://wvde.state.wv.us/counselors/administrators/Effectiveness+of+School+Counseling.pdf

9 Health Indicator Report of Suicide. Public Heath Indicator Based Information System. Utah’s Public Health Data Resource. January 4, 2017. Accessed on September 1, 2017 at https://ibis.health.utah.gov/indicator/view/SuicDth.Ut_US.html

10 Suicide Among Teens and Young Adults. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [cited 2016 July]. Accessed on September 1, 2017 at http://health.utah.gov/vipp/teens/youth-suicide/

11 American School Counselor Association “The School Counselor and Student Mental Health” (Adopted 2009, Revised 2015) Accessed September 1, 2017 from www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/PositionStatements/PS_StudentMentalHealth.pdf

12 School Counselors and Children’s Mental Health: Introduction to the Special Issue. Richard Auger, ASCA Professional School Counseling. Vol. 16: Issue. 5: Pages. 208-210 (Issue publication date: January 2013). Accessed September 2, 2017 at http://professionalschoolcounseling.org/doi/pdf/10.5330/PSC.n.2013-16.208

13 The Global Talent Crisis. Gordon, E. E. 2009 The Futurist, September–October, 2009, 34–39. Accessed on September 1, 2017 from http://www.imperialcorp.com/img/Futurist_article_9-09.pdf

14 H.B. 126 Student Plan for College and Career Readiness Revisions. Sponsor: Mike Winder. 2017 Accessed on September 1, 2017 from https://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/HB0126.html

15 The College Board National Office for School Counselor Advocacy “Eight Components of College and Career Readiness Counseling” Accessed on September 1, 2017 from https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/nosca/11b_4416_8_Components_WEB_111107.pdf

16 Research Spotlight on Parental Involvement in Education. Accessed August 28, 2017, from http://www.nea.org/tools/17360.htm

17 Understanding the School Counselor-Parent Connection. (2008) Brenda Melton, M.Ed., LPC. Accessed August 28, 2017 from http://www.adlit.org/article/25276/

18 “Report: Utah Student-to Counselor Ration High but Improving” Deseret News Utah. Morgan Jacobsen. January 5, 2016. Accessed on September 1, 2017 from http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865644886/Report-Utah-student-to-counselor-ratio-high-but-improving.html

19 “The High School Counselor Shortage Problem” International College Counselors, Cheree Liebowitz. March 4, 2016. Accessed on September 1, 2017 from http://internationalcollegecounselors.com/the-high-school-counselor-shortage-problem-2/