The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA): Everything You Need to Know

This is a formally organized association of teachers and parents who work together towards improving education for the students by identifying areas that need changes within the school and implementing those changes. Some PTAs are federally funded.

PTA’s history can be traced back to 1897, when Phoebe Apperson Hearst and Alice McLellan Birney established the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. Its goal was to improve students’ lives in terms of academics, health, and safety. Later, in 1926, the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers was set up by Selena Sloan Butler to advocate for African American students in segregated communities. On June 22, 1970, the two associations unified to make up what’s known today as the National PTA.

PTA’s mission is to make each student’s potential a reality by getting their families and communities involved and empowered to advocate for all children. PTA’s key values are:

·         Commitment: It’s dedicated to students’ academic success, health, and well-being via strong engagement of their families and communities while remaining accountable to the principles that serve as the foundation of the association.

·         Collaboration: It will work in partnership with different organizations and individuals to widen and enhance its ability to serve and support all students and their families.

·         Diversity: The association acknowledges the potential of everyone, irrespective of their educational background, culture, age, financial status, gender, ethnicity, legal status, geographic location, marital status, national origin, mental ability, organizational position, physical ability, parental status, political philosophy, religion, race, work experience, and sexual orientation.

·         Respect: It values the individual contributions of employees, members, partners, and volunteers as it functions collaboratively to accomplish the association’s goals.

·         Accountability: All PTA employees, members, partners, and volunteers have a shared responsibility to line up their efforts to accomplish the association’s strategic plans.

Studies have shown that students’ performance gets a significant boost when their parents are engaged in their learning. Thus, it becomes important for parents to join a local PTA and get involved in their children’s school, their learning process, and the education of everyone in their community.

Today, schools face challenges like the lack of educational equity and shrinking budgets. This makes the PTA role’s more crucial than ever. This association provides programs on fortifying family-school partnerships. Additionally, it makes available free resources for members on subjects and areas like STEM, health and safety, etc. By joining the PTA, parents can become part of a powerful association that can advocate for educators and students at the national, state and local levels.

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