Advocacy is the core of this organization. The PTA is the largest child advocacy organization in the United States. We function on the Federal, State and local levels through our affiliation agreements. There are some advocacy actions that we follow from the National PTA and others that we react to on a state or local level. Advocacy is a process, not an event. It is a continuous process that needs commitment and courage. Advocacy is about supporting someone or something, proposing or recommending someone or something; and it is about achieving specific outcomes. Advocacy implies identifying a cause, believing in it, mobilizing and influencing others to support it so as to change the policy or program that is negatively affecting that cause. The Massachusetts PTA has an Advocacy committee made up of volunteers that steer our legislative efforts and collaborates with community partners. Our mission is to actively support Federal, State and Local legislative initiatives that will support every child in reaching their potential.
The Advocacy and Legislative Committee guides the legislative and advocacy activities of the Massachusetts PTA. This committee is responsible for creating the policy agenda for the State and advising Massachusetts PTA Board Members on issues that Massachusetts PTA should support. The committee specializes in specific issues regarding education, family engagement, budget, and community concerns as these affect children and youth, as well as a federal advocacy. All members of the legislative committee are PTA volunteers.
The committee works closely with other Massachusetts PTA committee’s to advocate for the issues each committee is working on. As well as working closely with the National PTA to Support the National PTA Public Policy Agenda and guide the advocacy activities of the organization. The committee chair is dedicated to communicating advocacy issues and concerns with members and guiding them to take action when necessary.
PTA began by advocating for safe school environments, student teacher ratios, healthy school lunches, Kindergarten, mandatory physical education, etc. Today we support breakfast in school initiatives, safe drinking water in schools, mandatory recess, safe school measures, adequate funding, etc. We support measures that will ensure that every child’s potential can become a reality. We are the voice for every child. We plead, support and recommend. The PTA advocates for certain language in our laws and demands a seat at the table. We advocate in every area: health and wellness, legislation, special education, juvenile justice, academic achievement, STEAM, social and emotional learning, mental health, etc. PTA advocates have been working hard for the advancement on issues that impact students, families and schools. We work together and build relationships to achieve a common goal. Advocacy sets us apart from other organizations.
To create the policy agenda and coordinate the legislative and advocacy activities
To host a Legislative event at the Massachusetts State House each Fall
To actively participate in the National PTA’s Legislative Conference every year with a team of Advocates from Mass PTA
To host a Legislative event at the State House each Spring
To encourage, support and assist local PTA units in their Legislative efforts
To respond to issues through Position Statements as needed
To learn more about our Advocacy Committee here are some materials you can download:
Please sign up for National PTA’s Take Action Network by clicking here.
To reach those legislators on the Education Committee:
• Updated Massachusetts Public Policy
• Attended 2016 National Legislative Conference and discussed educational issues with fellow PTA’s members across the country as well as Massachusetts Legislators
• June 2015 met with Senator Warren to discuss Public Education
• Testified on many educational bills and issues
• Work with MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on taskforces and policy committees
• Standard Setting Policy Committee – working with DESE to determine the standards to be used in the 2017 MCAS rollout
•Project Communications Workgroup includes key DESE project staff and invited representatives from the major state education associations. The purpose of the committee is to ensure that administrators and teachers in the field are kept fully informed about the project as it moves through the planning and implementation stages. Workgroup meetings and related communications activities will be coordinated by Jass Stewart (email@example.com).
If you are interested in serving on the Massachusetts PTA Legislative Committee or setting up a committee in your own unit please contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislative Meet and Greets in 2019 & 2018
Advocacy and Answers Webinar with Massachusetts Education Commissioner, Jeff Riley and National PTA VP of Advocacy, Yvonne Johnson, held on July 27, 2020. View Here