As a parent, you may not realize how frequently you are an effective advocate for your child.
Every time you stand up for your child or look for ways to improve his or her school experience, you are acting as an advocate by speaking up and affecting the decision-making process.
Working with others in your school community to identify and resolve an issue amplifies your voice as a parent. It helps ensure, too, that all students are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities so that they can thrive in school and beyond.
By having a community conversation involving all stakeholders, you can help to resolve concerns and put policies in place so school systems are more responsive and equitable for all families.
To get started, work together to:
- Research issues and share information with your school community
- Raise questions for discussion at school or community meetings
- Participate in solutions by proposing possible remedies for problems
- Provide updates on the status of issues
- Empower and train other parents in how to share their stories as effective advocates.
When organized and united, parents are a powerful voice on behalf of children. By developing a plan together with a strong message and effective strategies for communication and outreach, parents can make a difference as advocates to improve the education, health and well-being of all children.
Find out more about being an effective parent advocate with the School Smarts Parent Engagement Program.
More Ways to Speak Up
As a PTA member, you are a part of the largest children’s advocacy group in the country that is a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education.
Ways to ensure parents have a seat at the table as partners in school governance and decision-making include:
- Attending meetings and sharing the parent view on school-related issues with educators
- Serving on school site and district committees or running for election to the school board
- Keeping other parents informed about specific issues and laws that affect their children’s schools as a PTA legislative committee member
- Providing a parent’s perspective by taking part in committees that interview, hire and dismiss school staff
- Working with other school and community leaders as a PTA volunteer to devise programs, policies and practices that support student achievement.
By helping guide decision-making at a school, well-informed and engaged parents can ensure that every child and teen has an opportunity to enjoy overall success in school and beyond.
Find out more about how California’s education system works and how you can make a difference on the Ed100 website: www.ed100.org.