YOU CAN MAKE AN IMPACT!
Local PTAs provide their families with the tools and forum to make an impact and change policies not only within their children's school, but also at a county level, district level, state level and national level.
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.
A nationally organized and supported advocacy effort is unique to the PTA and sets us apart from unaffiliated Parent Groups.
Please remember, in order to maintain nonprofit status under federal rules, 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.
See our tips for using resolutions, legislative priorities or the legislative program to support your statements or letters to elected officials.
Local PTA Advocacy
Advocacy needs at the county level can take many forms because each of our schools are unique and face a variety of needs that may include zoning concerns, facility safety, teacher availability, instructional supplies etc. It's important that you understand your county's school budget approval process and develop close relationships with your school board members.
Remember, you can vote to take a position on an issue in your PTA meeting which will allow your parents to speak with ONE voice at School Board and Board of Supervisors Meetings. You can also 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.
Please ensure your school is represented in local advocacy efforts by attending Hunt District Meetings.
What is a Resolution?
Virginia PTA resolutions are official documents outlining a researched issue (that has 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. 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.
Position statements can be cited by a PTA member when contacting a legislator about a bill that falls within the scope of the program. Local units may take a legislative position of their own, as long as it does not conflict with Virginia PTA or National PTA positions. Be sure to use your PTA’s name and not Virginia PTA.
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. Local Units have an opportunity to vote on Legislative Priorities in October.
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 have been critical to ensuring all children reach their highest potential
Download: National PTA Legislative Checklist // National PTA Guide to Impacting Public Policy
VA House Select Committee on School Safety
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
National PTA Gun Violence Prevention (Below)
Aging School Buildings
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."
LGBTQ Inclusion & Protection
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):