August 22, 2006
Dr. Charles Haughey, President
Dear Dr. Haughey
and Members of the
president of Maryland PTA, representing over 50,000 members in
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.
Mary Jo Neil