Alice Birney
Phoebe Hearst
Selena Butler

Did you know that National PTA was originally organized as the National Congress of Mothers in 1897 and was the dream of Marietta, Georgia native Alice McLellan Birney? She was extremely sensitive to the needs of the less fortunate and aspired to build a better world for children.

In 1897, Mrs. Birney met Phoebe Apperson Hearst, who helped her transform her dream into reality. The two planned the first “convention”, that was held on February 17, 1897, in Washington D.C. They had hoped for an assembly of 200 mothers to discuss the plight of children. Imagine their surprise when over 2,000 showed up! And it wasn’t just mothers, but fathers, doctors, lawyers and legislators who came to express their concerns for children.

One of the first resolutions passed at the convention called for kindergarten in all public schools. Mrs. Hearst’s concern was for education of the very young; she realized early education could determine a child’s entire future. Mrs. Hearst had founded the first free kindergarten in 1883.

Selena Sloan Butler, also a Georgia native, founded and became the first president of The Georgia Colored Congress of Parents and Teachers (NCCPT). The NCCPT was formed to function in states that legally mandated segregation. The mission of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers was to protect the rights of all children irrespective of color…Mrs. Butler believed more needed to be done. She dedicated her life to forming an organization with the primary purpose of uniting home and school into a planned program for child welfare. The two organizations, National Congress of Mothers and NCCPT ultimately united as one in the National PTA.

Throughout the its history of over 100 years, PTA has advocated for numerous issues ranging from sex education (1897), child labor laws (1900s), automobile and school bus safety (1930s), founding the school lunch program (1940s), field testing the polio vaccine (1950s), toy safety (1960s), opposing violence on television (1970s), HIV/AIDS education (1980s) to developing National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement programs (1990s). These issues represent only a small sampling of the advocacy efforts of the PTA.

The reason PTA was founded is still the same reason it exists today…children need us. We urge you to join other PTA members throughout the state of Georgia as we continue the work begun by our founders over one hundred years ago. Lend your voice to our voice – collectively we can make an immeasurable difference for all children.

Who We Are

Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
Membership is open to anyone who believes in the Mission and Purposes of National Parent Teacher Association. Individual members may belong to any number of PTAs and pay dues in each. Every person who joins a local PTA automatically becomes a member of both the state and National PTAs.

Together we are a powerful voice for children.

With your help, we can continue to work toward PTA’s goal of a quality education and nurturing environment for every child.

PTA Visions

To promote the welfare of children and youth in home, school, places of worship, and throughout the community;

To raise the standards of home life;

To advocate for laws that further the education, physical and mental health, welfare, and safety of children and youth;

To promote the collaboration and engagement of families and educators in the education of children and youth;

To engage the public in united efforts to secure the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being of all children and youth; and

To advocate for fiscal responsibility regarding public tax dollars in public education funding.

To make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.

Collaboration: We work in partnership with a wide array of individuals and organizations to accomplish our agreed-upon goals.

Commitment: We are dedicated to promoting children’s health, well-being, and educational success through strong parent, family, and community involvement.

Accountability: We acknowledge our obligations. We deliver on our promises.

Respect: We value our colleagues and ourselves. We expect the same high quality of effort and thought from ourselves as we do from others.

Inclusivity: We invite the stranger and welcome the newcomer. We value and seek input from as wide a spectrum of viewpoints and experiences as possible.

Integrity: We act consistently with our beliefs. When we err, we acknowledge the mistake and seek to make amends.

PTA Divisions

Georgia PTA serves as a link between the national organization and membership within the state. A person who joins a local Parent Teacher Association automatically becomes a member of National PTA and Georgia PTA.

Georgia PTA represents 300,000 members at the state legislature, state board of education and other education and child-focused organizations; provides support and training for local PTAs through workshops and publications; coordinates special projects to promote the welfare of Georgia’s children and youth, and much more.

Districts are geographical divisions of the state designated by Georgia PTA to carry on state work effectively. A council of PTAs is a group of three or more local unit PTAs within a Georgia PTA District. Districts and Councils assist local PTAs and PTSAs with membership and training.

The PTA at the local school level is linked to the state PTA and National PTA, forming a nationwide network of members working on behalf of all children and youth. Because of its connections to the state and National PTAs, the local PTA is a valuable resource to its school community with

(1) access to programs to benefit children, youth, and their families, and

(2) the recognition and size to influence the formulation of laws, policies, and practices—education or legislative.

Preschool groups often round up parents from several neighborhoods and various early-childhood programs. They involve child-care providers, grandparents, and others concerned with the education and development of children from birth to age five.

PTAs serve as a type of forum where parents, teachers, administrators, and other concerned adults discuss ways to promote quality education, strive to expand the arts, encourage community involvement, and work for a healthy environment and safe neighborhoods.

PTA believes that all children have the right to a quality public education, which allows each child the opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential. Special Education PTAs are designed to help parents advocate for special-needs children.

PTA Policies

National PTA and all state PTAs have been granted tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3) or Section 501(c)(4). As such, they must maintain strict adherence to IRC requirements in order to retain their exemption.

  • PTAs are prohibited under federal law from engaging in substantial business activities that are unrelated to their tax-exempt purposes, which are legally defined as educational and charitable.
  • PTAs should not endorse products, companies, or foundations.
  • PTAs should not sell or lend mailing lists.
  • PTAs may accept and acknowledge contributions of sponsors of PTA programs.
  • PTAs may accept advertising as long as it stays within postal regulations and does not jeopardize the objects and nonprofit status of PTA.
  • PTAs should familiarize themselves with local, state, and federal laws and requirements regarding licensing and liability before sponsoring or conducting public events.

PTA welcomes into membership people representing a diversity of cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and political and religious beliefs. The Purposes of the PTA acknowledge the importance of a spiritual life in the development of children and youth. As an association, PTA has the right to offer inspirational messages to open or close its meetings, but such messages by PTA leaders or invited religious leaders should be inspirational rather than sectarian, recognizing that in this pluralistic nation not all members share the same beliefs. Poetry, quotations from great men and women, uplifting anecdotes, and moments of quiet meditation can be used.

All PTA bylaws, whether national, state, district/region, council, or local, require the association to be nonpartisan in that it cannot support or oppose a political candidate. However, PTAs may propose, support, or oppose legislation needed to achieve the objects, provided that those efforts do not exceed the limitations placed upon such organizations under the federal tax laws.