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What Makes the "PTA Difference" So Much Better for Schools?
Four Key Benefits to Being Part of the PTA Community
The Power of PTA Makes a Difference
Over the past 120 years, PTA has helped solve some of the biggest issues facing America’s children. Many of the structures all children benefit from today—child labor laws, universal kindergarten, the National School Lunch Program and the juvenile justice system—were accomplished as a result of PTA members’ advocacy.
And it’s not just at the national level. Our state and local PTAs change lives too. Florida PTA members helped to defeat a piece of state legislation that would allow for-profit management companies and other corporate interests to take over public schools, keeping children’s educations from effectively being bought and sold. Washington State PTA worked to secure the passage of several major state education reforms, improving the day-to-day lives of children across the state. The impact of PTA is felt far and wide across our country.
Administrative factors also set PTA apart from other parent groups. PTA offers a national and state infrastructure, with staff and trained volunteer leaders available to assist PTAs in securing nonprofit status, filing government paperwork, creating bylaws, purchasing low-cost insurance and training leaders. These support services are included in PTA membership at no additional cost.
PTA schools have access to experts, resources, trainings and dozens of programs and initiatives to encourage arts education, healthy lifestyles and family reading. Over the years we’ve had a PTA in Georgia sponsor vision clinics for low-income students. And in Detroit, Mich., a PTA runs after-school programs that keep kids off the streets. In California, a PTA created a buddy system between families with limited English proficiency and other bilingual families.
When a school has a PTA, parents are better informed and more engaged, and the learning environment is more supportive for students—plus, the school has a better reputation in its community.
The PTA Difference
PTA—Founded in 1897, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is a nationwide network of 4 million families, students, educators and community leaders working at the school building, district, state and national levels to improve education, health and safety conditions for our children. National PTA’s mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.
Unaffiliated Parent Groups
These groups are comprised of families focused exclusively on issues at their school and are not part of a larger organized network, so have no way to impact decisions beyond their own schoolyard.
We commend all of the caring adults who join a parent group to support student learning and develop positive partnerships with their school’s officials. PTA believes, however, that the issues that affect our children today extend beyond their individual schools.
As parents, we have a universal desire to make sure our children are healthy and safe. We want to give them the tools and resources they need to grow, learn and thrive. We want them to reach their full potential. That common desire is what gives the Parent Teacher Association its power.
We have been an ardent advocate for bettering the lives of every child because we know we cannot only focus on our own children. We must care for other people’s kids, because the lives of our own children—or grandchildren—will be affected by contact with those other kids. If someday your son needs a critical operation, someone else’s child will be the surgeon. If someday your daughter is the victim of a violent crime, someone else’s child will be the judge.
This is why we work to advocate for every child. When you help one child, you are helping all children in the school community and potentially the nation.