The Parent Legislative Action Committee
Broken Arrow parents have the opportunity to become involved in shaping the laws that affect their children’s education. The Parent Legislative Action Committee (PLAC) was established five years ago by a small group of parents whose children attended Jenks Public Schools. Since that time, the nonpartisan group has grown to include parents from several Tulsa area schools including Sapulpa, Sand Springs, Union, Owasso, and now, Broken Arrow.
“The goal of Parent Legislative Action Committee is to educate parents and state legislators on how laws affect public education,” said Melissa Abdo, current PLAC President. “We work closely with school administrators and other experts in order to better understand our educational system and how we can improve it.”
The PLAC meets monthly during the school year in preparation for the legislative session which begins in February. Guest speakers are brought in to present on a variety of topics from testing to school finance in order to prepare parents for the topics that could arise during the legislative session. At one of the group’s event, the Parents and Policymakers Luncheon, more than 100 parents attended to converse with the seven legislators who were acting as panelists for the forum.
“I was pleased with the response we had to our Parents and Policymakers event, and we were able to have some great conversations with our legislators,” Abdo said. “The lawmakers and parents don’t always see eye-to-eye, but we respect their service, and they respect that we are trying to improve our children’s education.”
Beginning in February, the PLAC makes monthly trips to Oklahoma City to meet the legislators on their own turf at the State Capitol. A few days before the trip, parents are encouraged to contact their local legislators and invite them to meet with the group during their visit.
“We reserve a room in the Capitol building and spend the day talking to legislators about specific bills we are either for or against and provide them with data to support our position,” said Abdo. “Our time that day is spent as lobbyists for our schools – we try to help the legislators understand how their bills will positively or negatively affect the schools, and we work to find a common ground.”
The PLAC meeting dates can be found under the "Quick Links" to your right.
“We’ve had several Broken Arrow parents attend the PLAC meetings, but I hope more parents will become involved,” said Broken Arrow Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall. “Broken Arrow needs a voice at the Capitol, and the legislators will listen to parents much more readily than they will school administrators.”
To find out more information about the group, send an e-mail to TulsaAreaPLAC@yahoo.com.