YOU CAN MAKE AN IMPACT!
As a parent, as soon as you speak to a teacher or administrator about a concern, you have become an advocate for your child!
Local PTAs provide their families with the tools and forum to collaborate and change policies not only within their children's school, but also at a county level, district level, state level and national level. A nationally organized and supported advocacy effort is unique to the PTA and sets us apart from unaffiliated Parent Groups.
For over 100 years, PTA volunteers have used their time, energy, experience and knowledge to change laws, policies and programs for the benefit of children. Many benefits our children receive today, such as universal kindergarten, the National school lunch program, and a juvenile justice system were accomplished as a result of the PTA mission.
The PTA is nonpartisan and we do not support or campaign for any elected representatives. We do, however, work with members of both political parties to educate lawmakers about officially adopted PTA positions, or support particular pieces of legislation that our membership has voted to support as part of the Virginia PTA or National PTA Legislative program.
Local PTA Advocacy
The needs of each school community are unique, so it is important that as a PTA leader you understand:
If you have a broad issue impacting your entire school community and you want to be able to speak on behalf of your parent community you can vote to take a position on an issue in your PTA general membership meeting so that you can speak with one voice at School Board and Board of Supervisors Meetings. Please ensure that your position statement does not conflict with Virginia PTA or National PTA positions and that when speaking with elected officials you use your PTA’s name.
You can also choose to write a Resolution to address a concern you are dealing with locally. That Resolution, from your local school PTA or a group of several schools working together, can be submitted to the Virginia State PTA to gather support and visibility for an issue that is statewide in scope.
Virginia PTA resolutions are official documents outlining a researched issue (that have at least 3 sources of data no more than 6 years old to substantiate each Whereas statement) and reflect the will or intent of the association to address statewide problems, situations or concerns that affect children as well as define statewide action to seek resolution and advocate on issues. Approved resolutions become position statements of the Virginia PTA. Get more information about writing a resolution.
School Board Budget Timing:
Virginia PTA Advocacy
Every year, Virginia’s local PTA units approve a legislation program that represents its official position on a wide variety of issues affecting children and youth. The program consists of legislative action items and policy statements and is the basis for official testimony by the PTA at legislative hearings and before other agencies. Consider attending Virginia PTA's Annual PTA Day at the Annual General Assembly to meet with your legislators and learn about how to effectively advocate.
The General Assembly is in session from January to March and bills cross-over from one side to another in mid February. Make sure you are meeting with your elected officials prior to January if you want them to sponsor a bill.
National PTA Advocacy
Each year National PTA publishes a public policy agenda that outlines policy priorities and recommendations for Congress. From universal kindergarten, special education, and a juvenile justice system to ensuring federal funding supports our classrooms, National PTA advocates have been critical to ensuring all children reach their highest potential.
Resolution: World Languages K-16
VA House Select Committee on School Safety | Summary Recommendations | Full Report
School Safety Survey
VA Dep't of Criminal Justice Services
News: School Safety Work Group
Nat'l PTA Safe & Supportive Schools Position
Framework for Safe & Successful Schools
Federal Commission on School Safety Report
National PTA Gun Violence Prevention (Below)
Mental Health Resources
Resolution: Return to Learn
Statement: Oppose Rockwool
Opioid Epidemic | Opioid Symposium Video
Resolution: Restraint & Seclusion
Aging School Buildings
Letter to LCSB: School Construction
VAPTA Resolution Aging Building Maintenance
VA Senate Committee on School Modernization
"VA Senator proposes using internet sales tax..."
"Sen. Bill Stanley proposes modernizing schools without raising taxes"
"Lots of Virginia schools are outdated. Why that matters."
Schools in Towns & Villages
Letter to LCSB: Small School Consolidation
Resolution: Small Community Schools
LGBTQ Inclusion & Protection
Letter to LCSB: LGBTQ Language
LGBTQ Protection Resolution
Every Child in Focus Leadership Series: LGBTQ
National PTA Inclusion Strategies & Data
2018 LGBTQ Youth Report
GENERAL VIRGINIA REFERENCE
How a Bill Becomes a Law
Virginia General Assembly
Virginia Public Access Project
NATIONAL PTA POSITIONS
National PTA Positions
National PTA Resolutions
Federal Legislation Program
Take Action - Active Campaigns
HOW TO ENACT CHANGE
Guide to Impacting Public Policy
Advocacy videos on YouTube
Gun Violence Prevention
Additional Bills supported by National PTA (added 5/18/18):