What is Advocacy?

In the context of PTA, advocacy is supporting and speaking up for children—in schools, in communities, and before government bodies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children.

Advocating for Federal Policy

PTA is the oldest and largest volunteer child advocacy association in the United States. Founded in 1897, PTA has a long, successful history of influencing federal policy to promote the education, health and well-being of all children—resulting in kindergarten classes, child labor laws, school lunch programs, a juvenile justice system, and strengthened parent-teacher relationships. National PTA continues that legacy today by fighting for change under its federal public policy priorities:

  • Family Engagement in Education
  • Quality Education for All Children
  • Adequate Funding for Education
  • Child Health and Nutrition
  • Safe Schools and Communities
  • Fair Juvenile Justice Laws

Advocating for State Laws

State laws have a major impact on education and child welfare. State and local PTAs can play a pivotal role in promoting PTA priorities by involving their members in advocacy to help secure adequate state and local laws for our students.

Ways to Advocate

There are many ways to be an advocate! Some ways families can be involved are to:

  • Meet with school leaders to discuss a topic of importance to the district.
  • Attend a school board meeting and/or serve on the school board.
  • Work with the school and state leaders to implement strong family engagement policies.
  • Sign up for the National PTA Takes Action Network to get updates on important federal policies and send messages to your members of Congress.
  • Write a letter to the editor to stress the importance of family engagement and other PTA policy priorities.
  • Educate your members of Congress and their staff on PTA’s federal public policy priorities.