The PTA was in my office today. They had two issues of concern, Stopping the governors charter schools expansion and my bill to allow school superintendents to be elected. Their only real problem? They did not even know how many schools were in my district.
Since they oppose legislation that has an effect on education, I asked them to tell me which schools in the county I represented. How many grade schools? How many middle schools? How many high schools? I realized that although they were confident in supporting and proposing legislation that would affect public education in the 7th senatorial district, they had no idea which schools were actually in my district.
Our meetings are arranged well in advance of their visit. The Tennessee PTA was chartered in 1911, and most people know who they are and what they represent. They meet with me every year, and my support of public education has not changed, but they could not adequately talk about the schools in my district, which led me to believe that perhaps they had not spent time visiting those schools and talking with the parents and teachers to find out exactly what they need or how they feel about proposed legislation that will affect my districts schools and their student's education.
I hope they come better prepared before they try to talk about education in the future because if someone does not have a correct response on a "gotcha" question their point of view may not be considered valid.