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.
Take Action for Every Child... from the comfort of your own home! The 2021 National PTA Legislative Conference will be held virtually March 9-11 and will include world-class advocacy training and meetings with members of Congress. Registration opens in January.
Network with fellow PTA advocates, virtually meet with your members of Congress, hear PTA advocacy success stories and learn how to shape public policy on Capitol Hill and at home.
LegCon 2021 Registration Extended! There's still time to join us March 9-11 for our first virtual Legislative Conference! You can now register up until the last day of the conference. Don’t miss this opportunity to network with other PTA leaders and learn how to advocate for every child. Check out the full schedule of events and workshops. Read about the benefits of attending LegCon and be sure to register today!
The Michigan PTA invites all local PTA leaders and members interested in learning more about legislative affairs and advocacy to join us for an educational program on Saturday, March 20th, 2021. This program will give PTA leaders the information and tools to educate their members about advocacy and how to participate in being a voice for your community and children for education.
Every Child. One Voice
• Introduction to all the tools available from National PTA for your use
• Update on Federal and Michigan education activities and current legislative issues.
• How does money get to our school districts, and what can we do about it
• What tools are available to you from Michigan PTA that improve communication and information
• Introduction to Michigan PTA Advocacy Outreach Day on March 24th, 2021, and how your local PTA can be involved. During the conference registration, there is a question asking if you want to be a volunteer for the Outreach Day on March 24th.
Questions contact Marcy Dwyer, Michigan PTA VP Child Advocacy, by text or phone at 313.337.4900. Email email@example.com
This year because of COVID-19, we will not be having a live day at our state capitol in Lansing, Michigan. We ask all local PTAs across the state to do direct contact with the State Representative and State Senator and set up a virtual meeting with their legislator to speak to their PTA members on education topics. The Michigan PTA has a zoom account that we will set up for PTAs to use for free if their local legislator office does not have a virtual meeting method. We will provide a step-by-step worksheet for setting up these meetings and talking points for the conversation. Sign up to be a volunteer for your community when you sign up to attend the legislative conference on March 20th, 2021. The goal is that these virtual meetings start on March 24th, 2021, and are completed by March 31st, 2021; many schools have different spring breaks and schedules to work around. Questions contact Marcy Dwyer, Michigan PTA VP Child Advocacy at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Michigan laws have a major impact on education and child welfare. Michigan 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.
There are many ways to be an advocate! Some ways families can be involved are to:
Taking part in changing public policy includes the following steps. However, the capacity of the group and breadth of change desired will determine the level of involvement in advocacy activities.
Step 1—Gather Information
Step 2—Collaborate with Others
Step 3—Build Relationships with Policymakers
Step 4—Convey a Message
The following are two vehicles that may be used to convey a message to policymakers, the public and the media. Remember that messages and how they are conveyed vary depending on the audience. However, no matter who the audience is, a good message should contain basic components: First, give numbers – how is government/public money currently being spent effectively and efficiently? Second, use numbers – what unmet need is this fulfilling in the community?
1. To educate the public and the media, the message must be presented in a clear, non-technical manner. Refrain from using jargon and focus on addressing the impact the issue has in your community. In addition, they should show proximity to the policymaker or citizen’s self interest. Possible activities include:
2. To engage in direct interactions with policymakers on specific issues, your messages must be clear and to the point. Messages conveyed to policymakers should highlight the people affected and the monetary issues involved, but also clearly state your position on the issue/bill. Keep your interactions brief and to the point.