California State PTA Officers and Commissions
The ten commissions can be classified into two groups: (1) those dealing primarily with internal, organizational matters: convention, leadership services, membership, programs & member services, communications, and finance; and (2) those dealing with external issues in which PTA has a vital interest: community concerns, education, health and parent involvement.
The commissions are chaired by vice presidents elected biennially by the PTA membership at the annual convention meeting in odd-numbered years. Commissioners are appointed members who serve during the administration. The treasurer serves as chairman of the finance commission.
The California State PTA constantly assesses children's needs in order to determine where and how PTA action should be initiated or intensified. State convention resolutions, letters, and results of studies from unit, council, and district PTAs as well as National PTA programs and priorities provide direction to the California State PTA Board of Managers. Each commission develops its plan of action based on the goals of the association.
The work of the commissions is facilitated through special committee studies and cooperation with statewide allied groups, agencies, and coalitions whose goals are similar to PTA's. Each commission is responsible for providing leadership and education to unit, council, and district PTAs to help implement the projects and activities that fall within its area of concern. Through PTA in California, The Communicator, the website (www.capta.org), and other avenues of communication, unit, council, and district PTAs are kept informed of current projects, the progress of studies, and the initiation of new projects.
Responsible for internal and external California State PTA publicity. Includes news releases and news conferences; radio and TV appearances by California State PTA Board of Managers members; website maintenance (www.capta.org); and development, design and publication of PTA in California and The Communicator. Responsible for concerns related to mass media and their effects on children, youth, and families.
COMMUNITY CONCERNS COMMISSION
Deals primarily with concerns within the school and community that affect children and their families: child abuse, child care licensing (facilities and personnel), citizenship, coordination of children's services, delinquency prevention, disaster preparedness, discipline, environmental protection, family preservation, failure to provide (child support), foster care, homelessness, juvenile justice, missing children, proprietary (for profit) preschools, safety education, school attendance and school safety, youth violence, vandalism, gangs, and cults.
The Convention Commission is responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating the annual California State PTA convention. It coordinates all support services with the convention center and contracted vendors, including audiovisual requirements, decorating needs, security, transportation, and set-up of the convention site to established.
Considering the goals and objectives of the president, the commission develops the convention program and designs publications for distribution to the delegates; evaluates the logistics of registration to facilitate the process for delegates; establishes the prospectus for exhibitors, both commercial and nonprofit, and ensures compliance with legal aspects related to vendors. The commission is responsible for coordinating, across all commissions and committees, the development and evaluation of conferences that stimulate, educate, and train delegates, and must evaluate the budget to determine applicable costs for delegates and exhibitors and provide input to the treasurer.
The Education Commission deals with decision making. It advocates for adequate public funds that are spent only for public schools and provides the knowledge and tools so that at the state, school district, and local levels, PTAs actively participate in efforts to ensure every student has the same opportunity for an excellent education. Commissioners represent the California State PTA on many statewide committees and/or commissions.
The Finance Commission is responsible for developing, reviewing and updating California State PTA guidelines, policies, and procedures related to the financial management of PTAs. Includes information regarding compliance with the financial requirements of the PTA bylaws and the State of California and IRS tax regulations. The commission develops materials and tools used in training financial officers to carry out their job duties more effectively and assist them in providing for the financial well-being of the individual PTA.
The Health Commission works for a continuous health education program in the schools and community that will provide all children with the opportunity to develop to their full potential.
A comprehensive health program should include an integrated approach in providing students with instruction related to nutrition, substance abuse, physical, mental, emotional and environmental health, and adolescent sexuality, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS prevention education, sexual responsibility, abstinence, safer sex and pregnancy prevention. The program should be taught by credentialed health educators who will provide children with the knowledge and decision- making skills to enable and encourage them to establish healthy behaviors and practices throughout their lives. Parental awareness of each child's health needs and required care is essential to the success of such a program.
LEADERSHIP SERVICES COMMISSION
The Leadership Services Commission is responsible for strengthening and extending the work of PTA. Its activities include providing opportunities for leadership development and training to unit, council, and district PTAs; gives guidance in strengthening, organizing, reorganizing, and disbanding unit, council, and district PTA; and generally augments the influence and public understanding of PTA, its purpose, and work.
The Legislation Team includes the director of legislation, an advocate for federal issue as and state legislative advocates who specialize in specific issues regarding education, parent involvement, community concerns, and health as these affect children, youth and families.
The legislation team works closely with the commissions dealing with external issues. The commissions are responsible for preparing background information and authority for bills in their subject matter area and for recommending appropriate action. Once a position has been adopted, the legislation team is responsible for all further actions on the legislation. This includes relaying information on PTA positions to legislators and communicating PTA action on legislation- related matters to the constituent organizations of the California State PTA.
The Membership Commission develops strategies, coordinates the membership award program, and encourages best practices to assist units, councils and districts to expand membership and assure inclusiveness so that PTA members are informed and motivated individuals who volunteer and advocate on behalf of all children and youth. Expanding outreach efforts to recognize diversity of our communities and increase the ways we welcome all members of our communities are an integral part of promoting and marketing PTA membership.
PROGRAMS & MEMBER SERVICES COMMISSION
The Programs & Member Services Commission promotes the use and coordinates the implementation of programs offered through California State PTA, promotes the use of programs offered through National PTA, and seeks out opportunities for new appropriate and pertinent programs from other organizations. The commission also works with the California State PTA office to review, promote, and publish the materials of the California State PTA, and coordinates the service mailings containing this material to unit, council, and district PTAs. Chairman and coordinator positions include the National PTA Reflections Program, Founders Day, historian, scholarships and grants, and awards.
PARENT INVOLVEMENT COMMISSION
The Parent Involvement Commission acknowledges and supports parents as the first teachers of their child and realizes the integral role that parents play in the total development of the child. The commission helps parents and family caregivers strengthen their parenting skills and their parent/family involvement in the child's life, recognizing the special needs of teenage parents. An increase in skills, knowledge, and understanding is needed as children progress through stages of development.
Vital to these efforts are the California State PTA parent involvement tools, including Parents Empowering Parents (PEP Guide), Los Padres Eligen Participar, Parent Talk Cards, and Parenting Resources 7.24, 325.
The commission networks with agencies and groups whose primary focus is parent involvement, informs parents about criteria for quality child care and promotes efforts to increase adult literacy and maintains a library of additional parent education materials.
STUDENT STATE BOARD MEMBERS
Student representatives serve as commissioners on the California State PTA Board of Managers. Representatives are members of the Student Involvement Committee, assigned to a commission and included in the planning and presentation of student involvement workshops. Involving youth on the California State PTA Board of Managers is part of California State PTA's commitment to training those who will be tomorrow's parents and community leaders. The district PTA president is the contact for information on appointing student representatives (Involving Students 3.6, 90).