…which should have occurred before the PTA legislative assembly.

As I posted previously, there was never a debate allowed by the Washington State PTA (WSPTA), there was no other side of the issue provided and in fact most of the members of the PTA didn’t even know that a charter school proposal was to be voted on until it was too late. See: Whoa, where did that come from Washington State PTA? Charter Schools?!, Whoa, where did that come from Washington State PTA? Charter schools?! Part 2, Washington State PTA and the lack of transparency and Final thoughts on the Washington State PTA

Since then, several PTA members, including myself, have written letters to the Executive Director asking for the list of schools that were represented See: Can’t get a straight answer from the Washington State PTA.

After receiving the same response from the Executive Director multiple times, we researched the PTA by-laws and discovered that Robert’s Rules of Order, the PTA’s parliamentary authority, states that an organization has to divulge the information on the number of members attending who participated in a vote. What we wanted to know is how many schools in the state were represented and was it a fair representation of all of the children that the PTA is said to be advocating for.

I then sent the following e-mail to Bill Williams, the Executive Director of the Washington State PTA, and copied Ramona Hattendorf who is the Government Relations representative, aka “lobbyist” for the WSPTA.

Mr. Williams,

I am requesting, for the second time, a roster of PTA members who were sent to the legislative assembly by their schools, basically, the attendance record. This is to assure there was a quorum during the voting. According to the PTA by-laws, 3/4 of the regions must be represented.

The names can be redacted. I am only interested in the number of voting members who attended from each region and the number of schools represented in each region.

Your timely attention to this matter would be appreciated.

Dora Taylor

PTA member

Seattle, WA

Their response? Silence.

I have since sent another letter requesting the minutes to the legislative assembly.

Whether I receive them or not, I will let you know.

The PTA is now having a after-the-fact “forum” on charter schools with two “pro” speakers, two “con” speakers and Ramona Hattendorf who will be touting the company line on why the WSPTA will be supporting charter schools.

The forum will be held tomorrow, January 17th at 6:30 PM at Washington Middle School.

There will be a Q and A period but the PTA has decided to have written questions only because they are concerned that folks in the audience might not remain “civil”. One must control the message as much as possible. The sense that I get is that there are a lot of people in our state who do not want charter schools, feel that the pro-charter crowd is trying to make an end run around the democratic process by going directly to the legislators and that the PTA should NOT be pro-charter and at best should remain neutral. And I also think that the WSPTA is starting to get that message.

Here are the details for the forum:

The Washington state PTA region 6 (Seattle, Shoreline, Northshore and Vashon Island) will host a public charter school forum on Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Washington Middle School, located at 2101 S. Jackson St. in Seattle.

The speakers will include:

  • Ramona Hattendorf: Government Relations Coordinator, Washington State PTA
  • Olga Addae: President, Seattle Education Association
  • Rosalund Jenkins: League of Education Voters (LEV)
  • Dr. Wayne Au: Assistant Professor, Education Program, UW Bothell, Editor, Rethinking Schools
  • Robin Lake: Associate Director, Center for Reinventing Education, UW Bothell
  • Moderated by C.R. Douglas, Political Analyst, Q13 Fox News

Should be interesting.