A council is a group of local PTA units organized under the authority of the California State PTA for the purpose of collaboration, leadership training, and coordination of the efforts of the member units.
The Role of Council PTA with Unit PTAs
Councils play an important role in PTA. They provide support and assistance to PTA units within their areas and are a valuable source of guidance and information. A council provides the units within a city, county or area an opportunity for cooperation in promoting their common interests and discussion regarding their common issues. It coordinates the work of the member units with other agencies or organizations in the area working for children and youth.
The council is the first line of defense, support and assistance to local units within its jurisdiction. It is one of the most important sources of guidance and information available in the chain of communication to local units, which work directly for and with the children and youth in their schools. When a PTA/PTSA unit shows signs of weakness or trouble, for whatever reason, the council is in the best position to recognize this condition and call for assistance from First District PTA. A council, alert to the condition of each of its units, has often sent the SOS that brought knowledgeable PTA first-aid treatment to sustain and revive a faltering local unit. A great plus for the PTA structure is that there is always someone to ask for help.
The California State PTA establishes councils in counties, cities or other areas designated by its Board of Managers. Local PTAs within a council’s boundaries are eligible to become members of the council. Each local PTA is represented by delegates who officially represent their unit on the voting body of the council.
Council, District, State, and National PTA
The council is a key communication link between the local unit and the district, state, and National PTA. It contributes to a stronger, more effective organization by providing information, inspiration, and instruction for member units. The council helps local units function effectively by giving their officers and chairmen opportunities to compare methods of work, receive suggestions on procedure, unite in common projects, and cooperate in improving the education and welfare of children and youth.
Sometimes the big issues seem unimportant to people whose interest stops with their child and that child’s classroom. The council’s responsibility is to make the state and National PTA programs and materials known and available and their use understood and applicable in local communities. The council is the catalyst that can make people aware of the need for action and the state and National PTA provide the resources for them to use to follow through on this action. The united strength of all local PTAs is indeed a power to be reckoned with.
In workshops and conferences, councils clarify the protective aspects of, and reasons for, the basic policies of the National PTA. They promote the use of state and National PTA publications. Councils bring the countless opportunities of the total state and National PTA program into focus for the local units use.
Council PTA in the Community
In general, a council has a responsibility to unite the home, school, and community on behalf of children and youth. It is especially important for a council to cooperate with other community organizations and agencies having similar goals. A council should develop good public relations and serve as a channel for communication between the school district, superintendent(s) and the community.
When delegates at state and National PTA conventions adopt resolutions of statewide or nationwide significance which require local action to make them work, the council again serves to translate that concern into PTA performance in the community.
Council PTA and Advocacy
By patient, persistent explanation, the council builds local unit and public support for state and National PTA legislative action. When members realize that many decisions made by the state and federal government have a significant influence on their children in local schools, they understand the need for the PTA’s interest and competent advocacy on behalf of children and youth in state capitols and in Washington, DC legislative bodies beyond the reach of local control.