Dear Board of Managers,
In between our board meetings, we wanted to keep you informed about some of the exciting and important activities going on.
- The new website design is live! If you’ve been to www.capta.org lately, you’ve seen the new website. We hope you like how it looks and the many improvements to the organization of the content. Thank you again to Linda Mayo and Shirley Gold for their leadership on this project going back to last term, as well as to Ralph Ruiz for his tireless work. Please note: there is still a fair amount of “clean-up” work that needs to happen now that the new site is live, so it is still considered a work in progress.
- Service Mailing/Toolkit. Packages will start going out in the mail this week to all unit, council and district presidents for whom we have addresses. The mailing includes many important materials, including the newly printed Toolkit. The new Toolkit is also already posted on the website.
- Leadership Made Easy. One of the items in the service mailing is the new Leadership Made Easy publication. Click here to download a pdf of the final version. We also have extra copies that will be available to districts and for field services. The publication will also be translated into Spanish. Congratulations to Barbara Ledterman and last term’s Leadership Services Commission for their great work on this publication, and to Alison apRoberts and Pat Ruiz on staff for the terrific layout!
- Advanced Leadership Tools (ALT) Guide. The ALT guide has also been updated to reflect changes and updates from last term.
- PTA U — one down, one to go. Our first PTA U was held at the UCLA campus last weekend. Thanks to all of the district leadership teams who participated! And congratulations to Sue King and the Leadership Services team for their excellent planning and program. The second PTA U will be held at the end of the month at UC Davis. In total, we expect to provide training for more than 100 district leaders to help them off to a healthy start.
- National PTA governance meetings. This weekend a number of our board members will be attending National PTA meetings in Alexandria, VA. We’ll have a report at our next State Bard meeting in October.
- National dues increase. We continue to get the word out about the dues increase. In addition to blast e-mails, we sent a postcard to all units leaders, and information is included in the service mailing. We also put out a series of FAQs for unit leaders, and FAQs for council and district leaders. Many thanks again to Patty Christiansen for coordinating this work, and to Shirley Gold and Kathy Stevenson for their efforts.
- School Smarts. We are gearing up for the second year of the pilot program in our four School Smarts pilot school districts, as part of our arts education grant from the Hewlett Foundation. We’ve now met with each of the four schol district superintendents. They are all very excited to have the program back in their districts, and we’ll be working with them more this year to begin building sustainability. Our district presidents and council presidents were able to be at nearly all of these meetings as well. We also are working with SRI International to finalize the independent evaluation of the first-year pilot program.
- Advocacy issues survey. In the coming weeks we’ll be sending out an electronic survey to local leaders and members to solicit input about potential policy and advocacy goals.
- Organizational Goals. A copy of the goals adopted at our July meeting was e-mailed to the Board of Managers. Please don’t hesitate to contact Tamara Sortman in the office if you did not receive the goals.
- 2011-12 Organizational Budget. The Board of Directors will be meeting on September 9-10 in Sacramento to discuss our 2011-12 budget, as well as other business.
- Audit. Our accounting staff has been busy preparing for the annual independent audit. The auditors are scheduled to be at the office next week. Once the audit is completed, the independent firm will report to our Audit Committee, chaired by Sherry Elkington.
- Tax filing compliance. Our accounting staff and Treasurer Kathy Stevenson have been very busy fielding calls and e-mails from districts regarding several of the units that were placed on the IRS’s revocation list. We expect to have a response by the end of the month from the IRS regarding those units which we don’t believe should be on the revocation list. (These are the units which were reassigned their old EIN number and now are reorganized.) In addition, staff has been helping to field calls and e-mails from districts regarding the units which are on the revocation list, have $25,000 or less in gross revenue the past three years and are eligible for the revocation waiver. Districts are instructed to forward all the required information to the state office accounting staff, so we can compile the Form 1023 and other required documents.
- Charitable Trust (CT). Staff continues to send Letter of Determinations (LOD’s) to districts requesting them for their units. Staff is also fielding calls and e-mails from districts regarding the procedures for incorrect CT numbers, delinquency notices, CTs filed under a different name and so forth. The department has a contact where we are able to resolve or obtain answers from the AG’s office. Many thanks to Erika Trujillo and Cyndi Barton for all of their terrific work and assistance on all of these matters!
- Organizational Outreach. During the past two weeks, we’ve started meeting with leaders of other statewide organizations, mainly to check in and discuss ways we can continue to strengthen our relationships and work toward mutual goals. We met with Ted Lempert, president of Children Now. Ted was very complimentary and appreciative of the work PTA is doing. We also met with Carolyn Doggett, executive director for the California Teachers Association. We shared with her some of the work we’ve been doing related to parent engagement (such as the School Smarts pilot program). We also discussed some possible ways of helping more parents understand and utilize social media. In both both of these meetings, the importance of a possible November 2012 statewide ballot measure to raise revenues for education came up as well.
- Wal-mart Associates Choice grant. We received notice today that while California State PTA did not win the $100,000 grand prize award, we will receive a check in September for $10,000 just for being nominated as one of only five non-profit organizations in California for this program.
- Special Offer for PTA leaders and members — free subscription to the Cabinet Report. School Innovations & Advocacy (SI&A), an education consulting firm based in Sacramento, has launched a new benefit for all PTA members: A free subscription to the “Cabinet Report,” which is a a comprehensive daily report focused on California schools including budget and finance, legislation, facilities, accreditation and education politics. An electronic subscription typically costs about $400 per year. ACSA and CTA members are also being offered the same benefit. You can sign up directly by going to: www.siaCabinetReport.com. Feel free to share this offer to any PTA members or leaders.
And in Other News....
- Superintendent Torlakson’s “Blueprint for Great Schools.” Last week Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson held a press conference to release his transition advisory team’s blueprint document. Parent Involvement Commissioner Suzan Solomon, who served on the advisory committee, spoke at the press conference about the importance of involving parents. Overall, the Superintendent’s blueprint is a thoughtful document that addresses many areas PTA has long considered important. The report and a press release can be viewed at www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr11/yr11rel53.asp.
- New CCSESA Executive Director. It was recently announced that the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) has hired Peter Birdsall as its new executive director, replacing Sue Burr who has gone to work for the Governor and State Board of Education. Peter is a long-time Sacramento advocate and consultant, most recently serving as the technical consultant to the Education Coalition and advocacy director for SI&A. Peter is highly respected and has always been a strong supporter of PTA. We wish him all the best in his new role.
Thanks to each of you for all the work you’ve been doing this summer! Don’t forget to post photos or messages on our Facebook page whenever you are out representing California State PTA at meetings and events.
Carol Kocivar, President
Paul Richman, Executive Director
California State PTA
2327 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95816-5014 (916) 440-1985, extension 103