Washington State PTA

Founded in 1905, the Washington Congress of Parents and Teachers, now known as the Washington State Parent Teacher Association (WSPTA), is the largest non-profit, volunteer organization in Washington. As the premier parent organization, with over 75,000 members in more than 830 local PTAs, the association is an innovative, forward-thinking, and effective advocate for children.

In addition to supporting the work at the national level, below are specific examples of PTA successes in Washington:

  • Washington State PTA coined the term “preschool” and mentored parents of toddlers long before early childhood education was accepted and expected
  • Before there was public funding for well-child exams, PTAs hosted back-to-school “round-ups” with medical volunteers
  • When moms went to work during World War II, Washington PTAs arranged day care for their children
  • When local levies failed in the 1950s and kindergartens went unfunded, Washington State PTAs first organized kindergarten “co-ops,” then worked to secure state funding for universal kindergarten
  • As part of a coalition of community and statewide groups, Washington State PTA was instrumental in promoting the use of seat belts to save lives
  • Thousands of volunteers from Washington State PTA helped secure the passage of the “simple majority” amendment to the state constitution in 2007
  • Working collaboratively with other education and child advocacy groups, WSPTA played a leading role in securing the passage of major education reform efforts in Washington: House Bill 2261 (2009), House Bill 2776 and Senate Bill 6696 (2010)
  • Washington State PTA was a founding member of the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools (NEWS) group that brought the McCleary lawsuit to fully fund basic education and was an active participant through June 2018 when the Supreme Court closed the case
  • Making sure students have basic needs met, Breakfast After the Bell was a priority issue for a number of years until it was signed into law in 2018
  • Working with key advocacy partners and legislators in 2019 to pass several policy priorities including:
    • Social Emotional Learning framework adoption;                                                                   
    • Several laws to decrease gun violence, including youth suicide; 
    • Several laws to address the teacher shortage; additional levy authority and protection of local effort assistance; 
    • Funding for special education, paraeducator training, and demonstration sites for longer school lunches; 
    • Expansion of eligibility for early childhood education and assistance program; 
    • Raising the age for tobacco and vaping to 21; 
    • A comprehensive school safety law that includes family/student reunification plans

Washington State Legislators on PTA