From Shaan Hurley's blog (imho, one of the best places to get acad news)
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Parents as Teachers Program wanted to take a moment, to mention something to each of you that is very important to me, NOT JUST as an educator, but as a mom & resident of the St. Louis City area.
The Parents as Teachers program, for the St. Louis Public School District, is facing elimination. No other school districts are threatened, JUST St. Louis Public, the city district. For over 20 years now, PAT has been disseminated through EACH of the public school districts throughout Missouri (& is also in all 50 states through social services programs, FYI).
PAT is NOT a program for low income or poorly educated individuals & families, it is a program for EVERYONE that was created to strengthen the home-schoolrelationship, to better prepare our kiddos for preschool or kindergarten enrollment, while giving parents KEY INFORMATION about their child's development & to provide families with resources within their community to assist them in being their child's BEST FIRST TEACHER.
The way the program is written, for each home visit or group meeting that is conducted, a certain "payment" is made to the district, & these payments pay our salaries. For the last two school years, salaries have come in higher than state reimbursements due to LOW ENROLLMENT. The district has had to pick up some of the salaries, & this violates the way the program was written. Therefore, on April 30th, after a very tedious audit, it is possible that this program will no longer exist in our district, thedistrict that quite possibly needs this program THE MOST.This is unacceptable.
Until the administration gets out there & goes to bat for us, we have to count on each other's support. I would like to encourage you to PLEASE forward this email to EVERYONE you know & have them do the same. We need to get enrollment up to what it is in the other districts in St. Louis.Webster Groves, just as an example, has a waiting list to get enrolled.The Parent Educators are given their caseloads TO THEM on the first day of the school year. In the St. Louis Public Schools, we FIND OUR OWN FAMILIES, as the call in rate is low if not almost non-existent. We carry, or SHOULD CARRY, a 40 family caseload as a part-time provider. When I accepted myposition, I was given TWO FAMILIES. The rest was up to me. We can't do this alone.
There are 4 types of families in the city, the way I see it.
FAMILY #1. They think they don't NEED this program.
They are misinformed about what we provide & who we service. They assume it is a public schoolteacher coming for visits & with the state of the district, this concerns them. What they don't realize is we are ALL TRAINED at the National Center & CHOOSE the district we WANT to work for. I CHOSE THE CITY.
FAMILY #2. They sooooooo desperately need this information, but are afraid they will get HOTLINED when we view their living conditions.
FAMILY #3. They don't even KNOW what PAT is or how to get involved. MY JOB is to find them.
FAMILY #4. They have either called in & been assigned, or have been recruited by someone like me. They LOVE PAT & tell all their friends!THANK YOU if this is you!
Our district not only conducts home visits, but we do group meetings at shelters, teen homes for pregnant young women, prisons, etc... this is how COMMITTED we are to providing this service.Bottom line - in a district that is already missing a KEY PIECE, the home-school connection, we CANNOT eliminate the only one left.
PLEASE HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD, & save this VITAL PROGRAM! Again, PLEASE forward this to everyone you know.
Bless you for listening to my rantings.
Certified Parent Educator
St. Louis Public Schools
Visit the Parents as Teachers website for information about programs available in your area.