The Public School Parent's Network                    
A Resource Guide and Information Source for Parents




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The role of the PTA or PTO in our schools?


     PTA and PTO organizations are designed to provide our children with a voice.  The question is..." Have these long established organizations evolved into a muted voice where the primary focus is on fund raising and the the real issues plaguing the educational system are ignored?   Whatever shortcomings exist within our local PTAs and PTOs,  as parents we have to examine the shortcomings in our own level of involvement, commitment and participation within these organizations on a local level.   It is very easy to become discouraged and disenfranchised with the entire process, ... yet change is rarely effected without someone taking the time and having the courage to stick their neck out and challenge the system.  Take the time to visit both organization web sites, and then take the first step.  It is our responsibility to raise our voices about our concerns and to get involved.



Raising Our Voices

PTA and PTO meetings are  our opportunity as parents to communicate with our children's school administration, and  parents must begin to utilize the structure of the PTA as a forum to voice concerns about issues that affect children within the public school system.  As we sit back and shake our heads with dismay about the state of public education in this country, we sit silently in PTA and PTO meetings. Parents must find the courage and resolve to stand up and vocalize their concerns in the one environment we have that is designed to facilitate communication between educators and parents. 

     It can be a daunting task.  Since many of us aren't comfortable as public speakers, we find talking about tough issues in an open environment unsettling.    What parents need to remember is that more than likely,... there are many other parents that share the same concerns.   Contact your local PTA or PTO chairperson and ask how to bring issues to the floor.  Making the commitment by asking to be scheduled on the agenda is a great first step.  Parents can also ask that an open forum item be placed on the agenda so that parents will know that this is the time to address issues of concern.  Ask about the establishment of special committees for review of sensitive concerns like academic, curriculum, and misconduct issues.  Don't be surprised if politics rears it's ugly head in the process.  If you can't get acknowledged with your request, don't give up the cause.  Remember you can always voice your concerns in an open meeting, and this is your opportunity to make a difference.



The Mission of the PTA

bullet To support and speak on behalf of children and youth in the schools, in the community and before governmental bodies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children;
bullet To assist parents in developing the skills they need to raise and protect their children;
bullet To encourage parent and public involvement in the public schools of this nation.

The Purpose of the PTA

bullet To promote the welfare of the children and youth in home, school, community, and place of worship.
bullet To raise the standards of home life.
bullet To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth.
bullet To bring into closer relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth.
bullet To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education.

TO vs. PTA
PTO The national PTA’s position as presumed leader of the parent group world is no longer a given. More than 75 percent of U.S. groups are now PTOs. More>>

Using SchoolMatters to Support Your PTA Cause

As a PTA member you can help provide a voice for children in your community. This voice can help drive decisions, support bonds, and raise concerns that help improve your local schools. can help you further investigate and advocate for these issues by offering objective analysis and information.

See How Your School or School District is Performing Compared to Others
Knowing how your school or school district is performing compared to others is useful when assessing your own school or school district's performance. By taking advantage of the SchoolMatters comparison tools, you can find best practice ideas for improving performance. Using the Quick Compare tool, you can compare your school or school district with four other schools or school districts to find detailed data on student performance, community demographics, enrollment information, and spending allocations. You can also use the Better Performers tool to find similar schools and school districts that are faced with the same conditions as yours, but that are performing better.

These side-by-side comparisons provide an overview of where your school or school district stands and highlights challenges and strengths affecting your school or school district. As a PTA member, you can use these results as a starting point to further discussions with other PTA members and education decision makers, including your local school board and state legislators.

Advocate for Needed Changes
PTA members can also use to support requests for additional resources. Using the Advanced Search tool, you can identify school districts in your community with the greatest need for technology resources, community volunteers, in-kind donations, and financial support.

Additionally, reviewing your school district's spending information allows you to see where funding is currently being allocated, as well as where it has historically been allocated to see whether funding for a program has increased or decreased over time. Gwen Pierce, a parent from Gogebic County, Michigan, used for this purpose. Gwen wanted information that would support her cause to help pass a bond referendum to improve her school's facilities. So, she turned to the S&P website to make sure she and her community had all the facts before attempting again. Using the comparative information on property taxes, spending levels, and school district debt-information, she was able to inform the school board and local residents, with actual numbers. What Ms. Pierce found during her "fact finding" search was that local taxes, spending, and debt were much lower than state and county averages. This discovery only strengthened her position on the issuance of additional bonds, and by communicating with her community members through newsletters and flyers she was able to gain support and the bond referendum passed. Read more about Gwen Pierce.




Parental Involvement




Speaking Out at PTA Meetings

How Parents Can Make a Difference in our PTA

Make the Principal Your Partner

National PTA


National Confederation
of Parent Teacher Associations

Youth Crime Watch of America

Learn about the Issues:  
The PTA and Washington

Energize Your Entire Community to Advocate for Your Institution and Connect and be Counted


























































































































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