About 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.

What is the Purpose of PTA

  • To promote the welfare of children and youth in home, school, community, and place of worship.
  • To raise the standards of home life.
  • To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth.
  • To bring into closer relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth.
  • To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education.

A Brief History

The National PTA is the oldest and largest volunteer association working exclusively on behalf of all children and youth. For more than 100 years, the National PTA has promoted the education, health, and safety of children, youth, and families.

Phoebe Apperson Hearst and Alice McLellan Birney were greatly concerned about the nation's children. The United States was feeling the enormous impact of the Industrial Revolution. An immense wave of immigration was flowing into the country. Children worked in factories, in mines, and in the streets of the cities. Some could not attend school or obtain enough food to eat. What could be done?

THE FIRST MEETING IS HELD - 1897After extensive grassroots work in different parts of the nation, the two women met in 1895 and through diligent efforts, planned a meeting to bring their idea to others. On February 17, 1897, that meeting was held and more than 2,000 men and women surprised Phoebe Hearst and Alice Birney by filling the hall in Washington, D.C. The National Congress of Mothers was formed and the work of the founders took on new meaning and strength.

Mission Statement of tha CA PTA

The mission of the California State PTA is to positively impact the lives of all children and families by representing our members and empowering and supporting them with skills in advocacy, leadership, and communication.
California State PTA 07-09 Board of Managers, July 2007

Core Values of the CA PTA

The California State PTA is a professional, non-profit volunteer organization committed to the well-being of all children.

  • We believe every adult has a responsibility to ensure that all children develop to their full potential.
  • We believe parents are children's first teachers and that parent involvement is essential throughout a child's educational experience.
  • We believe that family is the basic unit of society responsible for the support and nurturing of all children, and we recognize that "the family" may be defined in many ways.
  • We believe our responsibility includes advocating for the safety and welfare of all children and the opportunity for a quality public education for each child.