PTA History: 2010-Present

In This Section

Notes from the Backpack Podcast

Join PTA For Your Child


  • PTA received $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to educate families on the Common Core State Standards.
  • National PTA teamed with Chef Jamie Oliver to produce a toolkit to combat childhood obesity.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at National PTA’s Legislative Conference.
  • U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at the 115th Annual National PTA Convention and Exhibition.
  • National PTA moved its headquarters from Chicago to Alexandria, Va.
  • National PTA gains bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress for the introduction of the Family Engagement in Education Act.
  • The Puerto Rico PTA became the 55th congress of National PTA.


  • U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius spoke at National PTA’s Legislative Conference.
  • National PTA released Parent Guides on the Common Core State Standards for English and math, grades K–12 in English and Spanish.
  • National PTA encouraged anti-bullying discussions in communities with its Connect for Respect initiative.
  • The bipartisan Family Engagement in Education Act was introduced in the U.S. Congress.
  • Betsy Landers was installed as National PTA President.
  • Otha Thornton was chosen as National PTA President-elect, the first male African-American to hold that office.
  • Eric Hargis was named National PTA Executive Director.


  • National PTA launched Our Home-Our Legacy-Our Future, an unprecedented fundraising campaign.
  • Redesigned website with a modern design, easier navigation, an improved search function, social media integration and formatted for mobile and tablet devices.
  • Published a digital edition of Our Children magazine.
  • Revamped the family-school partnership program to offer continuous improvement to all schools, including pre- and post-implementation assessments.
  • National PTA established the Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award to honor the late National PTA President who served from 2007-2009 and was one of PTA’s greatest advocates for underrepresented families and communities.
  • Joined the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. National PTA presidents will sit on the academy’s Board of Governors and submit nominations for and vote in The Bammy Awards.
  • More than 150 PTA leaders visited the White House August 10 for a day-long briefing with top administration officials to discuss challenges facing our nation’s schools and communities.


  • National PTA and Amazon Kindle teamed up to support family reading with PTA Family Reading Experience, Powered by Kindle program, which helps children become better readers and fosters the love of reading through a set of free literacy games and activities that are fun for the whole family.
  • Otha Thornton was installed as president of the National PTA at the June annual convention, making history as the first African-American male chosen to lead the association. 
  • National PTA re-launched the National PTA School of Excellence recognition program to supports and celebrates partnerships between PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.
  • The National Football League and National PTA partnered to launch the Back to Sports initiative for youth health and fitness.
  • Launched the Every Child in Focus campaign to strengthen family engagement in schools by celebrating the achievements and reporting the disparities within diverse populations and sharing resources and advocacy tools to help understand the needs of every child. 


  • Launched a National PTA and PTA Events mobile apps.
  • National PTA relaunched its School of Excellence program to strengthen family-school partnerships and make measurable progress in education, health and safety and arts and cultural exploration.
  • Partnered with LifeLock, Inc. to raise awareness about the long-term impact of online activity and encourage students to be good digital citizens—launched #ShareAwesome, a national campaign to spotlight and address important issues of online safety and digital citizenship in a fun, positive way.
  • Board of Directors vote to establish two new officer positions—Vice President Advocacy and Vice President Membership.
  • National PTA installs a Board of Directors that more closely reflects the children and families of the U.S, with nearly half of members representing minority groups and males.
  • Raised over $5K for first #GivingTuesday campaign, an unprecedented individual giving fundraising accomplishment.


  • U.S. Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) and National PTA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in shared dedication to the education and development of our nation’s youth.
  • Nathan Monell was named National PTA Executive Director.
  • Laura Bay was installed as National PTA President.
  • Delegates adopted three resolutions at the annual convention in Charlotte, N.C.: Preventing Solicitation of Adult Products to Minors, Restraint and Seclusion, and Response to Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Affecting Students.
  • National PTA and LifeLock collaborated to create The Smart Talk—a free, online tool to help families set ground rules for technology use and have open, ongoing conversations about online safety and responsibility.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) was passed and signed into law, reauthorizing the long-overdue Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind (ESEA/NCLB). Through a nationwide advocacy campaign, National PTA played a role in the landmark legislation, which included provisions to support strong family engagement policies and practices.
  • National PTA adopted a position statement on student data privacy and security, calling for policies that maintain the confidentiality of student information and ensure families have appropriate notification and consent for what and how children’s data is collected and used.
  • Our Children Online Magazine was launched with a new focus on information and tips for on-the-go parents who are always looking for ways to support their child’s academic success and well-being.


  • National PTA adopted a position statement on student assessment and opt-out policies, calling for all students to participate in high-quality, comprehensive assessments that measure their growth and achievement so they can reach their full potential.
  • Launched a new giving campaign—Pave the Path to Education—where donors could purchase a personalized engraved brick to lay in the courtyard walkway of National PTA’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va.
  • National PTA refinanced the mortgage on the headquarters in Alexandria, Va. with exceptional terms, increasing the value of the property.
  • Delegates adopted four resolutions at the annual convention in Orlando, Fla.: Electronic Cigarettes and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and Youth; Homework: Quality over Quantity; Recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Individuals as a Protected Class; and Water Safety and Instruction.
  • Delegates voted to adopt a complete revision of the National PTA bylaws.
  • The Awards & Reflections Celebration was the first evening Oscars-style ceremony held during the annual convention in Orlando, Fla. to recognize the accomplishments of PTA awardees and Reflections winners.
  • National PTA partnered with Bayer and Mathnasium to launch the STEM + Families initiative, which aims to increase access to science, technology, engineering and math education and careers, especially among under-represented youth.
  • Lowest membership decline nationwide in a decade.


  • National PTA’s Board of Directors adopted a 2020 Strategic Vision to build on the association’s mission and values and meet the emerging needs and priorities of families and leaders.
  • The National PTA Legacy Room—located at the association’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va.—was completed and unveiled in March. The space highlights the contributions of National PTA volunteers throughout the association’s 120-year-long history and features a dynamic wall timeline of historic milestones, unique memorabilia and PTA artifacts from all over the country.
  • Launched a new database to expand membership reach with four pilot states—Illinois, Kansas, Montana and Virginia—to enable a streamlined join/renew, access, updating and reporting process.
  • Through focused efforts at all levels of PTA, membership hit a new, record-low level of membership loss with increases across many states.
  • National PTA’s Board of Directors adopted two position statements: Early Identification and Interventions for Children with Mental Health Needs; and Trauma-Informed Care. The board also amended the Rights and Services for Undocumented Children position statement stating all students, regardless of immigration status, have a right to quality, free public education, students' immigration status must be kept private and that schools should be "sensitive locations" where immigration authorities cannot enforce laws.
  • National PTA’s Board of Directors agreed to prioritize and lead advocacy efforts to strengthen parent and family engagement, support public schools and improve federal education funding.
  • Delegates adopted one resolution, Healthy Sleep for Adolescents, and amended an existing resolution, Sale, Resale, and Destruction of Firearms at the annual convention in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Delegates voted to amend various provisions in Articles IV, V, X and XI of the National PTA bylaws at the annual convention and expo in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Jim Accomando was installed as National PTA president.