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 Illinois Laws
Illinois laws have a major impact on education and child welfare. Illinois PTA 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.
Today, Illinois PTA continues to advocate for all children, to press for adequate, equitable, and sustainable school funding, to create safe and healthy communities, and to make every child’s potential a reality. Become an advocate by joining the Illinois PTA Takes Action Network to add your voice to PTA’s one voice for every child.
Ways to Advocate Locally
There are many ways to be an advocate! Some ways families can be involved are to:
- Attend Parent/Teacher Conferences throughout the school year.
- Meet with school leaders to discuss a topic of importance to the district.
- Join your local PTA, attend PTA meetings and/or serve on a committee.
- 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 Illinois PTA Take Action Network to get updates on both federal and state policies and send messages to your members of federal and state Congress. Follow the Illinois PTA Facebook page as well.
- 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.