PTO vs PTA - Washington State
Members of a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) pay dues but have a national voice for their school as they fall under an umbrella organization, whereas a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) does not require dues but has no national voice. Parent Advisory Councils only provide advice on issues that concern immigrant parents. On the attached slide the requested information can be found.
Parent TEACHER ASSOCIATION (PTA)
- The PTA is a formal membership organization and makes up 24% of parent groups. Local PTA members pay dues to the state and national body.
- The pros of a PTA are that the local chapter members can contest for national PTA positions, it has paid support staff at its national headquarters, PTA's have a national voice for their schools because of their affiliations with the national body.
- The cons of a PTA are that PTA members have to pay dues. It is estimated that $550 in dues is paid to the national PTA and members must pay dues to have access to insurance. Furthermore, local PTA groups cannot go against PTA-approved political positions.
- Some examples of school districts with PTA's in Washington state are the Tenino School District and the Shoreline School District.
PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION (PTO)
- The PTO is an independent organization that represents groups that choose to remain independent of the PTA. This type of organization is a better fit for charter schools.
- The pros of a PTO are that PTO members decide if they should pay dues and the purpose of paying the dues, the group purchases insurance for itself, as the PTO is independent of an umbrella body it can write its own bylaws, and each local group can decide on its political affiliation and positions.
- The cons of a PTO are that it does not fall under an umbrella body or organization, the PTO has no national voice for its school, local PTO’s pay for insurance out of the dues collected.
- Some examples of school districts in Washington state with a PTO are White Salmon Valley School District, Olympia School District, and Washington Borough School District.
PARENT ADVISORY COUNCIL (PAC)
- PAC is an advisory body that helps the school implement migrant education programs by advising school boards of migrant parents concerns.
- The pros of a PAC are that members do not pay dues; it falls under the School Act and is officially recognized, therefore, it has a national voice and its advice and recommendations are taken seriously; and it acts to ensure that migrant parent concerns are addressed.
- The cons of a PAC are that it can only advise schools, the final decisions are still taken by the school board; it has no official umbrella organization; and it is not supported by a national body.
- Some examples of school districts in the State of Washington with a PAC are Marysville School District 25 and Kennewick School District.