Success Story: San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs
Building Families’ Political Connections in San Ramon Valley
To better serve children and youth, California’s San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs knew it needed to build its local units’ capacity to effectively inform and influence policies and practices in their schools.
The council began by equipping its units with knowledge. Through advocacy trainings at all of its 31 local PTAs, the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs built leadership skills and made sure parents understood the laws and regulations governing their schools. Representatives from these units now visit state, county, and city legislators several times a year, and have sent more than 15,000 letters through their advocacy campaigns. And because of a candidates forum organized by the council, community members were able to make educated choices in the school board election.
The council also takes a leading role in advocating for students. At the district level, it influenced the creation of a more parent-friendly individualized education plan for students receiving special education services. In addition, it coordinates an annual trip with three other councils to Sacramento (the state capital) and has lobbied for full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
PTA leaders in the San Ramon Valley obtained an extra $2.3 million for their school district and an additional $350 million for the rest of the state for a single budget year.