"Why I Vote for PTA" by a Silver Mesa Parent

For a PDF version of this letter, please click here.

I have been a part of PTA this year and have also watched how parents have stepped up to make this year awesome for our kids! Parents have helped with Class Parties, Reflections, Red Ribbon Week, Book Fair, Field Trips, and so much more...nothing can work without our amazing Parent Volunteers!!
There is a voice of parents that are looking into changing our PTA to a PTO (Parent Teacher Organization). They will be going around trying get about 190 signatures from Silver Mesa parents, and if they are successful with this, there will be a vote as to which parent organization is recognized at our school. The beauty of this, is that PTA is already the recognized Parent Organization, so if you like PTA, cast your vote early, and don't sign the petition for this change.  

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A couple concerns I have about switching to a PTO are...First of all, the disruption this will cause to our students, teachers and parents. It will create a division in our school, and some parents will feel like they have to take sides—for PTA or for PTO.
The second thing I'm concerned about is money. The current money in the PTA does not transfer to a new Parent Organization. They would have to start from scratch. This means, asking parents for more money next year to fund the  start-up costs for starting a new Parent Organization at our school, such as a 501c (3) tax status, submitting a 990-N for taxes each year, and more.
My last concern is the loss of advocacy for the children. PTA has a major voice in the State Legislature for our children. PTA advocates for many things, one of them being Land Trust monies. Currently we receive money on an annual basis from the Land Trust that has been established by the legislature.  It is distributed to our school and this year we received $32,000 that was channeled through the community council.  Every year, the PTA is an independent voice that is on Capitol Hill and fights to keep this money from being diverted from our schools.  Without the PTA presence, the money may not always be there.   (This information was obtained from the Land Trust office.)
I have helped in PTA for 9 years, at multiple schools. PTA is an organization that has been around for many years. It works! We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. PTA is set up with good leadership, and a set of rules and guidelines that keep things running smoothly at our school, so we can focus on the kids.
If you are like me, and think PTA has been doing a fantastic job for our kids this year, then join with me in NOT signing the petition. Thank you for supporting PTA!

Kristy West
A Silver Mesa Parent

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2 Responses to “"Why I Vote for PTA" by a Silver Mesa Parent”

  1. I think the Utah PTA's role in overseeing the Land Trust is very valuable, both for Silver Mesa, and for all the schools in Utah. Laurie McBride

    1. Thanks, we absolutely agree with you! PTA's role is very important.