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Welcome to another installment of our Top 3 Local series. Here we strive to highlight three stories featuring “local people, making local decisions.” You might call it “federalism in action.”

Read on for this week’s Top 3 Local stories. And if you have a story we should feature in next week’s post, send the good news to FIA@StateBudgetSolutions.org.

FOR MOTIVATION: PTA Politics
For parents, students and teachers across the land, a new school year has arrived. Many parents will soon receive a flyer in the mail, or tucked in their kids’ backpacks, extolling the virtues of joining their local Parent-Teacher Association (PTA).

Undeniably, local PTA’s do a lot of good for neighborhood schools. What many parents don’t realize, however, is that dues collected locally don’t all stay local: the state and national PTA boards get a very significant cut. And that money is used for lobbying – against school choice, and for Common Core.

As the PTA has grown more ideological, its membership numbers have fallen to roughly half what they used to be. Today PTA’s are vastly outnumbered by independent Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTO’s) with a focus that is generally more local – and less political. If your local school has a PTA, you might want to consider the merits of switching over to a PTO. To learn more, visit PTOtoday.com.

FOR INSPIRATION: Cuomo Says Common Core “Isn’t Working” Apple Image
Despite the national PTA’s best lobbying efforts, Common Core remains unpopular with parents and teachers alike. In New York, where almost one-fifth of students refused to take Core-aligned tests last spring, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has conceded that Common Core “is not working.” Cuomo then announced the formation of a panel that would revisit every detail of the unloved standards, with the aim of fixing them. The Daily Caller has more here.

FOR FUN: Labor Day Weekend
This weekend marks the unofficial end of summer – and there’s no shortage of festivals nationwide. In Colorado Springs, Labor Day is traditionally associated with a hot air balloon festival. On the famed Jersey Shore, it’s time for one last dip in the ocean. Wherever your plans take you, have fun and stay safe.

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