August 22, 2006

 

 

 

Dr. Charles Haughey, President

Montgomery County Board of Education

Carver Educational Services Center

850 Hungerford Drive, Room 123

Rockville, Maryland  20850

 

Dear Dr. Haughey and Members of the Montgomery County Board of Education:

 

As president of Maryland PTA, representing over 50,000 members in Montgomery County alone, I was greatly saddened and disappointed over the current status of sending flyers home in student backpacks.  The “reject all” policy has a serious impact on the benefits of communicating with parents who advocate and volunteer on behalf of our children in public schools.

 

Maryland PTA understands that all school systems must navigate through an enormous amount of material which is sent home with students each year.  We know and understand how this affects school personnel.  However, we feel that it is critical to support communication with parents.

 

Montgomery County Public Schools ought to allow community based organizations, such as the PTA, that provide services in support of the No Child Left Behind act (NCLB), be included into the interim guidance to allow distribution of PTA flyers into children’s backpacks.  PTA has a long standing history and incorporates within its mission statement and objects the intent of getting parents involved in public education.  NCLB established mandates that promote student achievement by increasing parent involvement.  These mandates are fulfilled through the efforts of PTAs promoting and sponsoring programs which specifically address all educational issues in our schools.  NCLB also provides a particular emphasis on closing achievement gaps between low income and minority students and their peers.  Communications through backpacks are essential to communicating with parents who don’t have access to the internet.  Thus, PTA material should be exempt from the current “reject all proposal”.

 

It is my sincere hope that the Montgomery County Board of Education will reconsider its position quickly on this highly visible and controversial issue to allow PTA material to be sent home with students.

 

Regards,

 

 

Mary Jo Neil

President, 2005-2007