Position Statement - Student Involvement in Educational Governance

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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Throughout our nation, students have successfully participated at the school level in a form of governance through Student Councils, Student Government Associations and School Advisory Councils and school-site philanthropy organizations. However, with this participation students are often addressed as merely participants in their educations, as opposed to partners. As a member of our community, students have a substantial interest in our democracy and their education is no different.

With an ever so changing landscape in education, students need to be at the table to ensure that expectation can be met and that their voices are heard. By promoting meaningful student involvement, schools can ready students for a lifetime of significant participation in their communities and nation.

National PTA supports the efforts Student Government Associations on schools, college/university campuses are doing to advocate for the views of their students. A number of schools, colleges/universities, state board of educations and school districts have regularly included meaningful student participation.

The National PTA supports:

  • Organizations, agencies and departments that oversee a K-20 and/or K-12 systems providing students with a meaningful way to participate in the decision-making process in a direct manner in an effort to ensure quality education is being provided for all children and youth.
  • Students and/or elected student leaders being informed on issues affecting the school environment and school districts, state board of educations, colleges/university adopt and/or review policies and procedures as a means for continuous, responsive and responsible participation in the educational governance within the confines of all applicable federal and state statues.

School districts implementing student-led conferences to encourage students to accept personal responsibility for their actions both in and out of the classroom, increasing accountability and fostering a dialogue for the parents, teachers and students.