The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has provided support, information and resources to families focused on the health and education of children by being a leading advocate for public policies that support children. The organization was founded in 1897 in Washington DC as the National Congress of Mothers by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. If not for these women and their vision and determination, there would not be a PTA - an organization that has been woven into the very fabric of American life. Today, it continues about change that improves the lives of children across our great nation for the better.
How Does It Work?
The Washington State PTA (WSPTA) works with State representatives to enact laws to benefit Washington children. Every two years Washington State PTA delegates create a legislative priority platform to use as the basis for their work efforts. Issues that become part of platform originate as proposals offered by members of local PTSAs. In previous years the Washington State PTA created a platform for the 2011/2012 legislative year with these 6 areas of emphasis:
• Improving basic education - this includes implementing and funding a new definition that emphasizes and supports college and career readiness and that improves the system of delivery
• Math and science instruction
• Literacy screening and instruction
• Reduction in force/layoff policies - changing layoff policies to include more than just seniority
• Fund education first in the state budget process
• New, research-based model for teacher compensation that emphasizes rewarding teacher effectiveness in improving student learning.
Any PTSA member can submit a proposal (a call for entries goes out in the spring). Submissions are reviewed by the legislative committee and the board of directors, and then put to a vote at the legislative assembly, attended by delegates representing local PTAs and PTSAs, as well as councils from across the state.
How Meridian PTSA Members Can Help
Members of Meridian PTSA can advocate for their children in many ways. They can generate interest locally at school by informing other parents about specific student needs or topics of concern to them. They can also work at the district level by attending and participating in school board meetings, and they can act at the state level by sending emails and phone calls to State legislators.