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What is PTA?

PTA is a grassroots organization made up of parents, teachers and others around the state who have a special interest in children, families and schools. PTA membership is as diverse as Texas is in cultures, education levels and parenting skills. By joining PTA, a member automatically becomes part of the largest child-advocacy organization in the state -- over 630,000 strong across Texas.  Dues for 2009-2010 school year are $5.00, We Want You, join today!

PTA's MISSION

The mission of the PTA is three-fold:
  1. To support and speak on behalf of children and youth in the schools, in the community and before governmental bodies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children;
  2. To assist parents in developing the skills they need to raise and protect their children; and
  3. To encourage parent and public involvement in the public schools of this nation.

THE PURPOSE OF PTA

  1. To promote the welfare of children and youth in home, school, community and place of worship;
  2. To raise the standards of home life;
  3. To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth;
  4. To bring into closer relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth;
  5. To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social and spiritual education.

WHAT DOES PTA DO?

PTAs work for children. PTAs meet together, study problems, support teachers, volunteer in schools, attend workshops on parenting and become informed on issues regarding children and youth. As a result, PTA members become better parents, teachers and citizens.

WHAT IS PTA VERSUS OTHER PARENT GROUPS?

A comparison between PTA and other non-PTA parent groups:
PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is a state and national affiliated organization dedicated to advocacy for all children. It has as resources other PTA units, state and national organizations, a voice in state and national legislation, and a network capability with 6.5 million child advocates.

PTA provides many opportunities for leadership training. Officers and chairmen can receive job specific training at Local, Area PTA and state workshops. A family resource and video library dedicated to parent education topics, children's health and safety, drug tobacco and alcohol awareness and education issues is available to all PTA units. PTA's work is based on the concept that many groups with similar goals working for children are much more effective and benefit more children than just a single organization working for the children on one campus.

Because PTA is recognized as an advocacy organization for children and promotes parent involvement, leaders are asked to serve on many state boards and committees. This representation adheres to the legislative positions and resolution approved by PTA members at national and state conventions. PTA presence at the state level ensures that parents are considered more fully when decisions are made.

PTA dues are decided by the membership of the Local PTA with $1.25 of the dues dedicated to Texas PTA and $1.75 to the National PTA. All other monies are used as the Local PTA desires and decides.

Other non-PTA parent groups are usually a campus level group that deals primarily with issues arising from its school. There is no affiliation with other parent groups, and there are no state or national resources. Decisions and actions made by a non-PTA parent group generally affect only the children of its affiliated school.

Non-PTA parent group dues are determined by the Local PTO. Since these groups are independent of any state or national organization, all monies are kept in that unit.

HOW IS PTA STRUCTURED?

Most Local PTAs meet at a school campus. Groups of Local PTAs often join together to form councils. Above councils, there are 18 Area Presidents and a Texas PTA Board of Directors, made up of volunteers. The board sets policies for PTAs throughout Texas. A 20-member office in Austin supports the work of the association.

WHEN WAS PTA FORMED?

Feb. 17, 1897 in Washington, D.C. Two thousand women and some men met to discuss the nation’s future and the need for all caring adults to mobilize and to act on behalf of children. Thus, the National PTA was formed, soon followed by the Texas PTA in 1909.

WHAT IS THE NATIONAL PTA?

The National Congress of Parents and Teachers -- the National Parent-Teacher Association -- is the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the United States. An organization of parents, teachers, students and other citizens active in their schools and communities, the PTA is a leader in reminding our nation of its obligations to children. Nearly 6.5 million people belong to this nonprofit, noncommercial, nonsectarian and nonpartisan organization. The National PTA advocates before decision-makers for children's rights to better health, education and well-being, working closely with other national education and health agencies and organizations. It provides current information and offers programs, guidance, publications and training to state and Local PTA groups in developing family-centered programs and encouraging parental involvement in all areas of a child's life.

For over 100 years, PTA has been leading the way in improving the lives of America's children and youth. Parent education is a primary part of PTA's philosophy and aids in the association's quest to protect and encourage all children. PTA draws on the experience and input of its membership and cooperating groups and shares what it has learned through its programs, publications and services.

WHAT IS THE TEXAS PTA?

Texas PTA, with a current membership over 630,000, is a branch of the National PTA. It is organized into 18 geographic areas, 93 councils and more than 2,600 local campus level PTAs. It is governed by a 26 member board of directors, with state headquarters at 408 West 11th Street, Austin, Texas 78701-2113.

The Local PTA is a self-governing unit that plans its programs and activities to meet the needs of children and youth in the community. It is at the Local level where the programs of service for children and youth are put into action. All other PTA structure -- Councils, Areas and states -- are designed to promote and strengthen the work of the Local PTA.

IN ORDER TO BE A MEMBER OF A PTA, MUST I HAVE CHILDREN AT THAT SCHOOL?

No. Anyone who subscribes to the basic policies and Purposes of PTA is eligible for membership. Student members must be in the 9th grade or above.

WHY SHOULD I GET INVOLVED?

Because of your children and because of your community. Studies have shown that membership in PTA provides your child and other children around you with a greater chance of achieving in school. As a PTA member, you are more likely to be an informed, involved parent. These are dangerous times for parents to learn ways to keep children safe, trouble-free and involved in school. PTA is the place to gain that knowledge.

HOW CAN I BENEFIT?

PTA provides opportunities to meet and to talk with other parents who have the same worries as you. By sharing common concerns, you will feel more empowered to do the tough job of parenting. Being part of PTA results in parental support and makes school involvement easier. You will no longer feel “all alone” in raising your child. PTA also provides educational opportunities. From Local-level parent education meetings to the Texas PTA Annual Convention, PTA encourages learning and the sharing of accomplishments. Ultimately, PTA provides the opportunity to serve, to volunteer and to contribute to the welfare of all children, because children represent our future. PTA will introduce you to a great variety of new activities and opportunities to share your special talents. PTA will give you opportunity, not only to impact your local community, but to have input in major legislative and policy issues affecting children throughout the state.
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