2010 Parent Action Day fills the Capitol

On Jan. 20, the Parent Action Team held its 2nd Annual Parent Action Day at the Capitol. Over 60 people attended the event. Parents, grandparents, community activists, APS staff and board members all participated in the program geared towards promoting parent advocacy at the State Capitol.

The 2010 Parent Action Day program opened with a pitch perfect rendition of the Star Spangled Banner sung by Josiah Martin. Next, a motivational speech by Atlanta Public Schools Chief of Staff Sharron Pitts left a lasting impression on our parents. She spoke on the importance of parental advocacy in the wake of more budget cuts. Verdaillia Turner, president of the Atlanta Federation of Teachers and the Georgia Federation of Teachers spoke on the ramifications of teacher furloughs and how parent advocacy is necessary to deterring recurrences. Sen. Nan Orrock gave a thought-provoking account of the origin of school vouchers and explained the negative impact that vouchers have on Georgia’s public education system. Education Budget Committee member, Rep. Kathy Ashe, discussed the state of the current education budget. She also mentioned how previous cuts lead to Peach County’s school district shortening its school week to a four-day school week. The Parent Action Team is necessary.

Josiah Martin silenced the Capitol with his version of Georgia’s state song “Georgia On My Mind.” Parent advocates, the Rev. Joseph Flint and Shawnna Hayes Tavares, spoke to the parents about the importance of parent involvement in schools and encouraged parents to become advocates for their children. The show-stopper was a group of high school students who proudly participates in the PILOT program. PILOT stands for Preparing Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow spearheaded by Action Team member, Sandy Purkett and it is a leadership building program. PILOT students study Georgia’s education budget every year and create presentations on the lasting effects budget cuts have on Georgia’s children. PILOT graduates go on to college to study law, government, and public policy. You have to see them to believe them. They are our future. Atlanta Board of Education member Emmett Johnson concluded our program with words of inspiration and encouragement.

Although the legislature was in recess, our parents took action by speaking with legislators directly about fully funding public education and showing a visible presence in the education budget hearing that succeeded our program. For more information about joining the 2010 Parent Action Team, contact vnuriddin@wowfoundation.net.

3 thoughts on “2010 Parent Action Day fills the Capitol

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  1. A big thanks to Mrs. Sandy Purkett who is over the PILOT program for pushing our children to be the biggest, brightest and greatest they can be. We love her!

  2. It was a great event. It will be a staple at the Capitol. Thanks Parent Action Team.

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