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.


On March 14, students across the country made their voices heard. California State PTA is asking for your stand together with the voices of students and call your federal legislators to demand stronger gun-violence prevention legislation including:

  • Prohibiting the sale and possession of assault weapons
  • Mandatory background checks
  • Waiting periods for all firearm purchases.


Update as of March 6, 2018

Fringe news outlets have recently published stories incorrectly stating California State PTA’s positions on gun-violence prevention efforts and student demonstrations. California PTA is not organizing any marches or student walkouts.

Gun violence is a public-health crisis that affects us all – most of all, our children and youth. And, it’s preventable. California State PTA will be addressing gun violence, school safety and mental health issues with federal lawmakers in Washington D.C. on March 13-15 during the 2018 National PTA Legislation Conference. We are also asking for your help to “call out” your federal legislators to demand stronger gun-violence prevention legislation. View the action alert.

California State PTA supports the rights of students to express themselves on campus through organized demonstrations, but believes that care must be taken to ensure the orderly operation of the school is not disrupted and the physical safety of students is not threatened. Leaving during school hours to attend an off-campus demonstration places the student outside the safety zone of the school and unnecessarily jeopardizes that school’s education funding. We are aware of several student demonstrations scheduled in the coming days and weeks and have provided guidance for local PTAs that wish to support student voices. View guidance information.

Additional Resources:


  • Support adequate funding for public education by educating our members and policy makers and advocating for legislation to bring California within the top 10 states in per pupil funding
  • Promote schools as a safe and welcoming environment for all students, families and communities and support children’s health and welfare in all aspects of their lives
  • Support and protect high-quality public education from efforts that would weaken this vital foundation of our democracy
  • Advocate for authentic and measurable family-engagement standards in education policy.



Amplifying the PTA voice is easy with the new Social Media Advocacy Chart. Tweet post or share anything in the green column. Think twice before sharing items from the yellow sections and do not share anything from a PTA account if it came from the red column.

Use social media to lift up PTA – you are an advocate and we need your voice!



Year-End Legislation Action Report

In 2017, California State PTA took positions on more than 120 bills in the California Legislature, of which 34 were signed and approved. As we work to meet our organizational and advocacy goals, this is a great win for PTA and for all children and families. View California State PTA’s end-of-session Legislative Action Report for 2017.

Signed and Supported by California State PTA:

  • AB 10 (Cristina Garcia): This bill requires any public school, serving grades 6-12 with at least 40 percent of student body of free/reduced lunch, to provide feminine hygiene products free of charge. California State PTA supported this bill as an equity issue to eliminate any barriers for students from fully participating in their studies or sports activities.
  • AB 480 (Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher): This bill adds diapers to the lists of supportive services that would be covered by CalWORKS. California State PTA supported this bill because of the necessity and expense of diapers, and our primary goal to advocate and protect the most vulnerable children.
  • SB 751 (Jerry Hill): This bill adjusts the Reserve Cap implemented on local School Districts in 2014. California State PTA has long supported a remedy to this issue and allowing local school districts to budget for the needs of their community and students.

Bills to Watch Next Year:

  • AB 1217 (Raul Bocanegra/Anthony Portantino): This misguided attempt at creating a new STEM school in Los Angeles and subverting every local agency was strongly opposed by California State PTA and could potentially return in 2018. California State PTA has long supported public charters that are developed, evaluated and held accountable by their local communities. This bill circumvents all local contributions and oversight.
  • SB 328 (Anthony Portantino): California State PTA will continue to work with the bill’s author in hopes of encouraging the State to recognize how crucial a later start time is for the health and well-being of our students in grades 6-12.


Volunteers Make a Difference

“Volunteers are at the heart of PTA advocacy. We speak up for all children and families to make a difference at the local, regional, state and national level.” — Lea Darrah, 2017-2019 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: