The PTA is the largest volunteer advocacy association working exclusively on behalf of all children.
For more than 100 years, we’ve promoted the education, health and safety of children, youth and families.
PTA’s Areas of Focus
- Student and School Success — All students should receive a world-class education that prepares them for long-term success in college and careers. PTA programs like Take Your Family to School Week, Family Reading Experience and School of Excellence empower families to be engaged in their children’s education and support their learning, which makes a difference for student success and school improvement.
- Health and Safety — Every child should have a healthy and safe place to live, learn and thrive. PTA provides tools and resources—such as our Connect for Respect initiative—that help students, parents and schools work together to create a positive school climate.
- Arts and Culture — Every child should receive a well-rounded education with access to arts and cultural opportunities. PTA celebrates and raises awareness about the importance of arts education and provides all students the opportunity to explore and be involved in the arts through our annual Reflections program.
- Advocacy — All families should be at the table and empowered to advocate for their own and every child. PTA’s policy agenda, advocacy toolkit and state and national trainings make it easy for every parent to make a difference.
OUR FOUNDERS’ VISION
The National Parent Teacher Association was founded on February 17, 1897, in Washington, DC, as the National Congress of Mothers by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst at a meeting of over 2,000 parents, teachers, workers, and legislators. In 1908, the organization changed its name to the National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations.
PTA is the premier legacy association for children, families, and education. PTA is invested in the whole child and advocates on their behalf. California State PTA reaches millions of parents and families through members, coalitions and partnerships and has a history of landmark advocacy. PTA focuses on social and educational programs that inspire an importance on family engagement in all schools and communities.
Recently, California State PTA has been a force for change in bringing light to funding issues and ensuring that family engagement and community voice have a place at the table where funding decisions are made. PTA is building ways to ensure that family engagement is never overlooked and is providing training on its importance in and out of the classroom.
A HISTORY OF CHANGE FOR ALL CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
California State PTA has made a profound difference in the lives of all children and families.
- Teacher Preparation for Elementary Education (1973)
- Treatment Centers for the Sexually Abused (1978)
- Juvenile Justice Reform – A Priority (1983)
- Prejudice Awareness education (1989)
- School Facilities and Public Planning (1991)
- School Bus Safety (1993)
- Tobacco Advertising that Targets Minors (1993)
- Firearm Safety and Awareness (1995)
- Playground Equipment Safety Standards (1996)
- Student assessment, Achievement and Accountability (2000)
- Safe Routes to School for All Children (2008)
- Teen Driving Safety (2009)
- Summer Learning Loss (2013)
- Synthetic Marijuana – Education and Awareness (2015)
- LGBTQ+ Inclusiveness in Health Education California (2015)
YOU CAN BE A PART OF OUR FUTURE
With more than 800,000 members throughout California, we’re carrying our founders’ vision – and our children’s lives — into the future. Join PTA and help us keep moving forward!