President’s Corner

It’s starting to warm up and we are getting a great source of vitamin D these days. As we head to the National PTA convention this year I would like to you to review the resolutions and bylaws that are being presented and let me know what your thoughts are. It is very important to me to appropriately represent our state membership on all of our matters.

Resolutions:
http://www.pta.org/about/content.cfm?ItemNumber=3434

Bylaws:
http://www.pta.org/about/content.cfm?ItemNumber=1756

My contact info is mrodriguez@illinoispta.org if you would like us to take comments with us.

We will be making a state memory board to be displayed at the national convention. I would ask you to please send me pictures, via email, of the events you would like to highlight so they can be included. I know all of you are doing awesome things in your local units and this is our opportunity to show the entire country.

One last thing, please remember to send in your unused membership cards and dues payment to the state office to close out the year which ends June 30th. Thank you for your service.

Here to serve,

Matthew John Rodriguez

Illinois PTA President

 

President’s Corner

Greetings,

As we look to close and finalize the year, I would like to thank all your teachers, principals, administrators, and you for your hard work and collaboration. Every day it is important to work towards a better tomorrow. If we wake up each day and find one way to make life better, then we can progress towards lives filled with happiness, hope, and results. Remember that our children are watching us always and learning from our behavior. As our children’s first teacher, through us they learn how to interact with others, how to socialize, how to give, and how to take. I encourage you to work on maintaining a good balance between work and fun. Often, we forget to slow down and enjoy what is around us. I can tell you from experience that the years that our children are young go by VERY, VERY quickly. By taking time to do even the small things (i.e. take a walk, go to the park, go out for ice cream, etc.) we impact and reaffirm our love and commitment to our children that they very much starve for.

Also, please note that the House has passed a new funding formula bill, SB1, and it is on the way to the Governor’s desk.  Some points of information and reference material that you can read to get more information regarding this can be found at http://fundingilfuture.org/.  FundingIllinois’ Future is a coalition of more than 200 school districts, school superintendents, community- and faith-based organizations working toward fixing Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation school funding formula with the goal of giving every student in Illinois the education they deserve.

Finally, I know all of you have heard over and over about the Illinois budget and funding issues. Many were disappointed of the outcome of the schedule the last day of the 100th General Assembly Spring Session on May 31st. However, the work is NOT done! Our legislative team and leaders have given you ways to advocate and I urge you not to let your legislators off the hook. Please contact any of our State Board Members if you would like additional resources or training on advocacy. We as Illinois families and constituents deserve better so keep contacting them about the importance and gravity of the issue. Tell them how it personally affects you. They use those stories as they testify on the floor.

As always and in my final 30 days, I humbly serve to continue a smooth transition and appreciate ALL that you do to support our mission.

Here to serve,

Matthew John Rodriguez

Illinois PTA President

President’s Corner

Hello and welcome again,
Don’t forget to #Thankateacher during this Teacher Appreciation Week. They are the lifeline of our children’s learning experience! As we finish up and come to the end of our terms let’s make sure our hand-off goes as smooth as possible. We all should have our books in order and gear towards finalizing our school year. Most schools are ending the first week of June. Please ensure your treasurer has all the receipts and expense forms that need to be addressed. Other things I suggest are the procedure books, instructions, lists and any other pertinent info be given to the next chair or officer coming in. Some units have an old/new board meeting. This is a great way to make sure everyone meets their new teams and start building those communication/relationship blocks.

There are some things that I also want to mention as key news happening in this crazy world of education. As we, along with NPTA, are disappointed in the movement backwards on nutrition standards, I would hope we continue to reduce the amount of children facing obesity in the state of Illinois. Our most vulnerable children facing scarcity in meals are also going to be impacted and I don’t know about you but it breaks my heart to know food is a luxury in the land with the most abundant resources.

Attached you can read the NPTA’s statement

There is quite a bit of concern with the billion-dollar budget cut to education just announced. Yes that is billion with a B! With education never being fully funded and teachers not being paid as much as they should be there is much work to do in our advocacy efforts for our children’s education sake!! While some good things came out of the funding bill such as more funding for Special Education, Title I, Student Support and Academic Enrichment other crucial areas are far from being adequate. We have advocated and are still voicing our support for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC’s) to be funded as per the ESSA Plan Title IV Part E. We reached out to Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth as well as had a follow up conversation with Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois District 8 here at home. He again personally stated his support.

Attached you can read the NPTA’s statement

Thank you so much for all that you have done this year,

Matthew John Rodriguez

Illinois PTA President

President’s Corner

It is National Volunteer Appreciation Week I want to take this opportunity to not only Thank You all for taking time away from your families, missing events, etc. but also for committing to this awesome mission of ensuring every child’s potential becomes a reality! I truly appreciate each and every one of you!

With our 115th year convention just passing we have overcome challenges and many obstacles yet still have plenty of work to do. We were honored to have Secretary of Education, Beth Purvis, speak on actions being taken around the state, the ESSA plan finalized, the Children’s Cabinet created to address early learning needs, and the concentration of the Governor’s P-20 Council. We also were blessed to have National PTA board member, Jesus Holguin, with us and he not only did fantastic workshops on Diversity and Multiculturalism as well as Raising Your Voice for Special Needs Students he also installed our newly elected officers. Thank you to our partners AIM, Legoland, Grom Social, sponsors and vendors. I also want to thank all of the volunteers who made our convention EXCEPTIONAL we could not have done it without you! Great job!!

As we move into the end of our legislative session our President Elect, Brian Minsker, has testified to the education committee regarding HB 2808. It is an honor to be sought out for testimony and we will continue to represent you in all of our actions.

Spring is here and I know we are all getting ready to wind down the year. Please do not forget to register your units with your new officers and their information. We want to make sure the right individuals receive all the information we have to share on next year’s resources to ensure a fantastic start.

As one last note do not forget to attend our Spotlight Event on May 13th at Milikin University in Decatur. I promise not only will the children have an awesome time working with the University students you will also be amazed by all of the talented artists that we have around the state.

You are very much appreciated every day!!

Here to serve,

Matthew John Rodriguez

Illinois PTA President