Focus Areas

Advocacy for children and families


One of the most important roles of California State PTA is to create and support laws that improve the lives of all California children.

Our Advocacy Goal

Represent, inform and mobilize members and the public to advocate for the education, health, safety and well-being of all children


Election Day – PTA Support on Ballot Initiatives

November 8 is Election Day in California and across the nation. Advocacy is what makes PTA unique, and we encourage everyone to take the opportunity to vote in the election. But please remember:

PTA never comments on, endorses or supports individual candidates for office. PTA is a non-partisan association with a long track record of speaking up for all children and connecting families, schools and communities.

However, while PTA does not endorse individuals, the association does consider and take positions on statewide initiatives that impact the education, health and well-being of California’s children and families.


  • PROPOSITION 51 — SUPPORT School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statutory Amendment. PTA supports safe and up to-date schools. The $9 billion in bond money will go for new construction and modernization of K-12 public schools, charter schools, vocational-education facilities and California community colleges.
  • PROPOSITION 55 — SUPPORT Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. This initiative extends the temporary personal-income tax increases on high-income earners. Money will go to schools and community colleges, budget reserves/debt payments and health programs. About half of the estimated tax money would go to schools (about $4 billion). If these taxes disappear, it would hurt our already underfunded education system.

  • PROPOSITION 56 — SUPPORT Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. We know that education and smoking cessation programs work to save lives by preventing teens –who have been shown to be sensitive to the price of tobacco products — from choosing to smoke in the first place. This increases the cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. The money would go to increase funding for existing health-care programs, tobacco-use prevention/control programs, tobacco-related disease research and law enforcement, physician training, dental-disease prevention programs and administration.
  • PROPOSITION 58 — SUPPORT SB 1174 (Chapter 753, Statutes of 2014), Lara. The California Education for a Global Economy Initiative (California EdGE). In 1998, voters approved Proposition 227 requiring that all students be taught in English, and that English learners be taught in sheltered English courses. PTA opposed Proposition 227 because it forced English Language Learners (ELLs) to take English-only classes regardless of students’ individual needs. In addition, it took away parents’ right to choose what is best for their children. This initiative deletes the sheltered English provisions. It requires students be taught in programs with access to core academic standards, and that school districts provide effective and appropriate methods for language acquisition. Parents and guardians may choose language-acquisition programs that best meet the needs of their children.
  • PROPOSITION 63 — SUPPORT Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute. We believe that limiting access to the kinds of guns and ammunition that can kill large amounts of people in a short amount of time is common sense. We must fight gun violence by limiting the types and number of guns and ammunition available to those who would use them to do harm to others. Reasonable, common-sense gun laws reduce gun deaths and injuries, keep guns away from criminals and fight illegal gun trafficking.


Oral arguments in Robles-Wong v. California took place in the Court of Appeal in San Francisco on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. At issue in this case is whether the fundamental right to an education – a right which was articulated by the California Supreme Court more than 45 years ago – requires the State to provide our students an education that gives them an opportunity to succeed in the global economy and to become informed citizens able to participate in civic and social life. As a plaintiff in the case, California State PTA offered a statement.

“California State PTA believes that state funding must be adequate to ensure all children have the opportunity to succeed and that we begin to close the opportunity and achievement gap. We remain optimistic that the court will affirm the state’s obligation to provide an adequate education for California’s students and return the matter to the superior court for trial.”


Volunteers Make a Difference

“Remember no matter how much fundraising you do, it will never equal the impact of one piece of legislation.” — Shayne Silva, 2015 – 2017 Director of Legislation

PTA volunteer legislative advocates representing the broad scope of the organization closely monitor pending legislation and testify at public hearings to ensure our voice is heard. The advocates include the director of legislation, state advocates, a federal advocate and consultants with specialized skills. They meet with elected officials and policy-makers, speak at meetings of the California Legislature and carefully monitor both state and federal legislation. Advocacy focus areas include education funding and policy, community and school safety, juvenile justice, child care and early education, children’s health and other issues affecting kids and youth.

Volunteer advocates also analyze statewide ballot measures and determine California State PTA’s position, based upon convention resolutions and other PTA authority.

For questions or more information about our legislative advocacy program, please contact the Director of Legislation at

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved in our advocacy efforts and help make a difference: