Education Story: What in the world is the PTA?

MARSHALL, TEXAS: Helen Warwick could talk for hours, she says, about the Marshall Independent School District and the Texas Parent Teacher Association.

A veteran member of the Marshall ISD board of trustees and former president of the board, Helen has served on the Texas PTA board of directors, the Texas PTA Advocacy Committee and various other associations.

“I got started when my son, Michael, now 32-years-old, was in the first grade at Crockett Elementary School in Marshall,” Helen stated. “His teacher asked me to get involved in the classroom, and I did.”

She continued, “Then the principal asked me to get involved in the campus as a whole … and I did.”

Helen’s involvement in PTA, she said, “directly led to my interest in serving on the school board.” Currently, on the state level with the Texas PTA, Helen serves as a member of the ORD Team – Organization, Reorganization and Dissolution. “This team helps new PTAs organize, helps struggling PTAs get back on track, and helps close out PTAs so they are in good standing legally, and with the Internal Revenue Service.”

The Texas PTA was first founded in 1909 by Ella Caruthers Porter, as a ‘mothers club.’ The organization is the state’s largest child advocacy group of record, and “is committed to parent education, parent involvement and child advocacy.”

Helen explained, “Each campus level PTA-a local unit – is independent of any other PTAs in the town or school district. When there are enough PTAs in a school district, a town, or even a county, they can form a council of PTAs. “

She stated that a “council would have representatives from the local units and the principals from the PTA campuses, plus council officers. They support the campuses, offer training, and model good PTA operations.”

According to her, “there are also Field Service Representatives (FSR) which are also there for support. Each PTA is assigned to an FSR. I was one of those until recently.”

“Then there are the Texas PTA officers and board, plus a great staff in Austin. Those folks are all available to help local volunteers in their PTA work.”

PTA is a registered trademark. Helen said, “No periods in between the letters.”

“The healthiest local units are actively involved in making education better for students.PTA funds should be used in way that touch the most students and are not supposed to replace school district funds,” Helen said.

Each PTA in Texas is a member of the Texas PTA and a portion of their dues goes to support the Texas PTA. “Likewise, each PTA is a member of the National PTA, and a portion of dues go to support the National PTA. National PTA is the parent organization and is a 501-c3 (tax free with IRS), local units get their own number, but fall under the umbrella of National PTAs tax free status,” she explained.

The Texas PTA office is in Austin and the National office is in Alexandria, VA (Washington, DC).

To find out more about the Texas PTA, visit the website at www. txpta,org or by clicking here. Visit the National Parent Teacher Association website at To find out about the Georgia Parent Teacher Association, visit the website at or click here.

PTA – offering good news to students, families and communities in schools all across the nation.


(c)Photos Texas PTA and Helen Warwick 2019

Author: rlhwrites

Curator of prose and such.

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