PTA is much like a chain. The links are interconnected. At the basic level is the Unit. This can be at any school site. This is where the majority of PTA members come from and it is really the grass roots of PTA. A small geographical area, like a school district, is typically a Council of PTA units. They are joined for the purposes of providing support to the Units and implementing PTA guidelines. The District PTA is another, larger, geographical division of PTA that coordinates the local Units and Councils, and provides services on behalf of California State PTA. The California State PTA is a division of the National PTA and implements the purposes of PTA at the state level. All of the links of the chain are necessary for the advocacy of children. There are numerous training opportunities available at the national, state, district and council level, and all members of PTA are encouraged to utilize these resources.
The California State PTA Toolkit (which is available online at www.capta.org ) is essentially the encyclopedia of PTA information. Also, every level of PTA has a set of Bylaws which are to be reviewed yearly and updated regularly. These bylaws are the “constitution” of PTA and they contain such information as the yearly dues amount, the date of meetings, what the duties of officers are, and much more.
There are a lot of guidelines and rules in PTA, but they are really necessary to protect PTA and enable PTA at all levels to continue to advocate for children.
(Editor’s Note – These are comments made to the school board at the July 13 meeting in regard to the PTA. Culver City Crossroads would be happy to hear from any other PTA volunteers who would like to write and comment.)