District Administration - June 2010 - (Page 25)

Conversations Chuck Saylors The (First) Man for the Job Saylors: The PTA as an association has been in place since 1897, and I’m the first Charles (Chuck) Saylors is the first man to serve as national president of the Parent Teacher Asman to serve as national president. I was sociation and the first national PTA president to have his own children in grade school. installed in June 2009 for a two-year term. it currently is. We’re very hopeful that trip—things that districts in the past norI’m coming into the end of my first year. As far as we can tell I’m also the first na- the Obama administration will add some mally covered. Because budgets are being tional president that still has his or her more teeth to the legislation in the Blue- cut more, parents, and thus the PTA, are own children in grade school. I have a print for Reform, so we are looking for- being asked to do more, like supplying fifth-grader and a seventh-grader. My ward to that conversation. computer labs, paying for musical instruAlso, we are very much involved in the ments and physical education supplies— oldest is 25 and my only daughter is 23. A number of my predecessors have had promotion of the approval of common and that’s in the areas where they’re fortugrandchildren in school but not their own core standards. We’ve had this as an is- nate enough to have the money, program child still in grade school. I’m currently sue for 10 years. It’s not fair—and that’s and the teacher. also on the school board of the Greenville probably not the right word to use—but What we find frustrating is that we it’s not fair to expect children to be suc- have elected officials in our state governCounty (S.C.) School district. cessful border to border, coast to coast if ment and in the halls of Congress that everybody’s not singing off the same page when you approach them and say, “Look, So does having kids in school impact in the hymnbook. That’s what common education needs to be covered better or this leadership position? Saylors: I absolutely understand what core does. We received a $1 million Gates held harmless (or whatever the term of parents are going through. I’ve got a child Foundation grant where we’re actually the day is)—when it comes to budget cuts, with an IEP, and I know exactly what it is working at a grassroots level in about four how are you going to do it?” they say, “I that parents have to deal with for children states—fixing to add five more, so nine don’t know.” They have no idea. We’ve lost the age with learning disabilities and having to states—as pilot programs to getting that of a statesman and we’ve gained the age of interact with administrators. So I’m hop- approved within those states. a politician. This is, for the most part, not ing that kind of gives the families that we all of them. Some are truly working very serve an understanding that I know some How has the organization been challenged with the financial crisis? hard to make sure education is supported, of the challenges they face. Saylors: Over the last several decades, but they’re in the minority. And this is on the PTA has been seen more as a fund- both sides of the aisle. This is not a party What’s the biggest initiative that PTA is raising arm of education, and that’s been issue; this is a philosophy issue. dealing with currently? Saylors: There are two things we’re work- an unfortunate necessity. As school dising on from a legislative standpoint. The tricts have had to shave budgets for this The PTA is best known for volunteering. first is related to the reauthorization of and that, many times the parents have How has volunteerism been impacted? ESEA. Parental engagement has got to had to cover the copier expenses, paper Saylors: When I was in school, I was be a larger focus of that legislation than in the classroom, or the costs for a field lucky enough that my father worked www.DistrictAdministration.com June 2010 25 Q: Your role as national PTA president is slightly different from previous presidents. http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - June 2010

District Administration - June 2010
Contents
From the Editor
Letters
News Update
Sustainability
Conversations
Administrator Profile
District Profile
Innovative Leaders Take the Phone and Run
A New Dawn in the Sunshine State
The Die-Hard Communicator
Cybersafety in the Classroom
Persuading Teachers to Go Rural
Product Focus
Research Corner
Professional Opinion

District Administration - June 2010

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