PTA began, in 1897, as an advocacy organization with a nationwide campaign to eliminate threats that endangered children. Today, one of the important roles of the California State PTA is to advocate for policies and laws that improve the lives of all California children, youth and families. PTA continues to highlight critical education funding issues and to ensure the importance of family engagement in public schools. In addition, California State PTA supports policies and legislation that help youth and families meet their essential needs.
The California State PTA Legislation Team — composed of volunteers from across the state — works to support the organization’s advocacy goals, which are as follows:
- Advocate to achieve justice for all children, youth and families to have their essential needs met.
- Advocate for shared power and belonging for all children, youth and families to address the impacts of systemic and institutionalized injustice.
- Advocate for a full and culturally responsive curriculum to meet the diverse needs of our student population.
- Elevate the student voice to create an inclusive, positive and supportive school climate.
- Promote physical and mental wellness beginning in early childhood.
- Advocate for stable and sustainable public school resources to bring California within the top 10 states in per-pupil funding.
Some of our work includes:
- Researching and voting to take positions on bills brought by advocates in the areas of community concerns, health, education, family engagement, budget, and federal legislation.
- Informing local members and leaders about California State PTA positions through monthly legislation calls, monthly legislative updates, blog posts and articles in PTA Connects.
- Explaining the use of California State PTA resolutions and position statements as authorities for taking positions on bills or ballot measures.
- Updating and reviewing the legislation platform, and California PTA legislation policies.
- Studying, taking positions on and coordinating advocacy for statewide ballot measures and referendums.
- Serving as a resource for local members and leaders.
Advocacy at the state level enables California State PTA to support youth and families across the state. Local members and leaders may use California State PTA’s positions on legislation to engage in local advocacy in their own communities. The Legislation Team provides support and is a resource for local PTAs as they conduct studies or effect change in their own communities .
The Legislation Team for the 2021-23 term consists of the Director of Legislation and eight members of the California State PTA Board of Managers. Our Legislation Team reflects the diversity found in California with team members representing geographic, racial, socioeconomic, languages spoken and age diversity. Our team members have children of all ages which gives them insight into the varying issues facing today’s youth. In addition to their PTA roles the advocates are engaged in a variety of career fields and other community involvement.