What is the PTA?
The National PTA (National Congress of Parents and Teachers) is a volunteer educational organization, founded in Washington, D.C., in 1897. Branches of the National PTA have been established in all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and in schools for American dependents in Europe and the Pacific area.
The California State PTA (California Congress of Parents, Teachers, and Students, Inc.) is a branch of the National PTA, serving as a connecting link between the national organization and its membership within the state.
District PTAs are geographical divisions of the California State PTA, established to carry out its programs. All PTA districts organized after July 1, 1980, are required to have number designations.
Councils of PTAs/PTSAs are created by the California State PTA for the purpose of conference, leadership training, and coordination of efforts of the member units.
Unit PTAs are organized and chartered in conformity with rules and regulations as prescribed in the bylaws of the California State PTA. These units are self-governing bodies for the purpose of planning programs and activities to meet local community needs. However, they are required to observe policies of the California State PTA and/or National PTA.
Defining the PTA Difference
The term “PTA” is commonly used to describe any parent group, and many parents, teachers, and administrators are unaware of the distinct differences between PTA and other parent organizations.
Find Out More…
Parents Empowering Parents Guide & Parent Involvement Tips
Parents Empowering Parents (PEP) is a resource to assist local PTA leaders to carry out an effective parent education and involvement program. Each chapter is based on one of the six National PTA Standards for Parent Involvement. (Refer to Successful Programs in this section and Developing a Parent Involvement Program in the Volunteering section.) This guide contains information and ideas to help:
- Promote PTA leadership to build strong home-school partnerships
- Assist parents with techniques to use in supporting their childrens efforts in school
- Enhance parents skills in working with their own children
Download Entire PEP Guide:
- Download the entire PEP Guide (in English) [2.5MB, pdf]
- Download the entire PEP Guide (in Spanish) [3.3MB, pdf]
Or view this guide by section and category on our Parents Empowering Parents Guide and Parent Tips page.