Today’s PTA is a Tool of the Radical Left

by | Jan 2, 2024 | Fixing Education

Activists are using the Parent-Teacher Association to advance “woke” curricula nationwide with your contributions

There has been a leftist transformation of the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) over the last several decades. The group was founded in 1897 as the National Congress of Mothers. For a century, the PTA connected parents and teachers by working together to provide a quality education for children in public schools, but the focus no longer seems to be on the “mother” or “parent” aspect of the organization.

Unfortunately, the organization’s mission has been warped into something unrecognizable to its founders, making the modern PTA an advocacy group for pushing politically charged “progressive” causes in your local school.

Gunning Down the Second Amendment

When I was in grade school in the 1980s and ‘90s, students would bring their guns to school, hanging on a gun rack in their trucks. Hunting was not only a sport in my town but a way of life, and for many it may have been the only way to have meat served on their dinner table. Gun safety classes were provided to all students and we were taught how to use weapons properly and safely. Unfortunately, there have been tragedies in our nation’s schools—kids have brought guns to school to kill others—but is it guns who kill or is it people who kill?

The Rand Corporation has conducted in-depth studies on the effectiveness of a variety of gun restriction methods, including bans on so-called “assault” weapons, purchase waiting periods, and licensing requirements. The results were at best inconclusive that these restrictions reduce gun violence     , and it seems the only people that gun restrictions negatively impact are law-abiding citizens. Proposed restrictions will disarm the good guys carrying a weapon—those same good guys who would neutralize the criminals disregarding gun laws. More gun laws are not going to solve the problem of school violence.

(READ MORE: What’s the PTA’s Agenda? Just Follow the Money)

National PTA former president Anna King is an ex-activist with Moms Demand Action—a group that advocates for more restrictions on gun ownership. The PTA’s legislative agenda includes advocating for a ban on “access to military-style semi-automatic assault weapons.”

According to the NRA, 20-25 percent of guns privately owned are semi-automatic, weapons that fire one round when the trigger is pulled. Automatic weapons—those used by the military and have continuous firing when the trigger is pulled—are already effectively banned under current laws. What does the PTA mean by “military-style semi-automatic assault weapons?” A 9mm pistol is a semi-automatic weapon that is used by the military. Does the PTA want to ban law-abiding citizens from owning the most popular firearm in America?

Anti-gun PTA leaders should sign up for a history class to learn about the purpose of the Second Amendment—a “well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Perhaps they should schedule a field trip to Williamsburg and Yorktown to learn more about the founding of our nation. The Founding Fathers knew firsthand the importance of an armed citizenry to be able to defend themselves against a tyrannical government—and ensure the government remains accountable to its citizens.

The PTA should be advocating for a return of gun safety classes in schools and the importance of children being raised by both a mother and father, rather than attacking the Second Amendment. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Greenlighting Transgender Boys in Girls’ Sports

In June 2023, the California PTA sponsored a bill that would require a family court to consider whether a parent is gender affirming when determining the best interests of a child. If a parent does not give into the harmful narrative that an adolescent can and should change their gender, they could lose custody or visitation rights of their child. This bill passed through the state legislature, but it was even too radical for far-left Gavin Newsom and he vetoed it. It’s eye-opening and alarming when the PTA is more radical than the California governor!

The National PTA signed a letter in May 2023 to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona demanding boys be allowed to compete in girls’ sports. Under proposed Title IX regulation changes, the Biden administration is seeking to wipe out all the advances that females have made in sports over the last several decades. The PTA letter also states that the talking points of “prevention of sports related injury” and “fairness in competition” by those opposed to the proposed Title IX changes are simply “transphobic.”

So if a person has a belief that boys are stronger than girls and could cause injury during competition, then they are transphobic. It is disgusting that this attack on women is supported so strongly by the National PTA.

The Grimm v Gloucester County School Board case is about a female who identified as a male and wanted to use the male restroom at her school. Grimm was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and the National PTA felt inclined to weigh in by signing on to an amicus brief citing its concern for students who experience “the negative effects of being forced to use a restroom that is not aligned with their gender identity or being shunted to a “special” restroom for transgender students.”

The PTA’s advocacy against a child’s right to privacy and to be safe in school is telling. One only needs to look to the transgender bathroom rapist in Loudoun County schools to know the dangers of policies that permit students to use restrooms that align with their “chosen” gender. Ultimately, the high court declined to take up the Grimm case, but the National PTA has proven the lengths that it will go to harmfully push their radical transgender agenda that puts students at risk.

Sold Out to the Gates Foundation for Common Core

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)—signed into law by George W. Bush in 2002—was a failed attempt by the federal government to improve student academic performance. NCLB required states to implement statewide standardized testing in the areas of English Language Arts and math, and the federal government would then monitor student achievement to hold states accountable. While states could create their own standards, most decided to use the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that were created through nationwide efforts by groups such as the National Governor’s Association and funded through federal grants.

Why would Republicans—who are supposed to be advocates of smaller government—support such an expansion of the federal government’s role in education?

(RELATED: What Can We Learn from Virginia’s Recent School Board Races?)

Tom Loveless has conducted in-depth research on the impacts of the CCSS and he states that “a decade after the release of the Common Core standards, the accumulated evidence reveals no meaningfully positive result.” Loveless further points out that if billions of dollars and countless hours had not been spent on the CCSS, students would have been at about the same point they are now after a decade of Common Core. Others may argue that students would be further ahead without the CCSS.

The National PTA has been given millions of dollars by the Gates Foundation earmarked for Common Core advocacy. An announcement on the Gates Foundation website about the PTA reads:

The association [PTA] today announced a new three-year effort to mobilize parents to advance key education priorities, beginning with common core state standards . . . . A $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will help support the effort.

The PTA later received an additional $1 million from the Gates Foundation to support Common Core assessments. It seems that other organizations like General Electric also donated money to the PTA to get them to lobby for Common Core.

The PTA’s years-long push for the CCSS included campaigns to parents, such as the Common Core video series, that would “educate parents on the standards and empower them to support the implementation of the standards at school and home.” The group also pushed CCSS through efforts such as putting a Common Core toolkit in their lobbying materials. Would the PTA have advocated so hard for the failed policies of Common Core if they had not been coerced by millions of dollars from outside organizations?

You’re Paying the Far Left’s Bills

The cost to join a PTA varies by locality, but in all instances $2.25 from every individual member’s dues will be given to the National PTA. How many parents are aware of that?

When I was a member of the PTA I had no idea the dues went to support a national organization that seemingly does nothing to benefit my local school. If I had known about their radical agenda, I certainly would not have given them a penny. Membership dues not only help fund the PTA’s radical agenda but also their executive director’s $400,000 salary.

In 2020, the PTA applied for and received $737,400 in loans from the federal government under the paycheck protection program (PPP), and again in 2021 they received $1,099,970 in PPP taxpayer loans. All of these loans were forgiven by the government.

In 2020, the PTA reports on their IRS form that they received $4 million in membership dues and over $2 million in donations. The PTA also reports that they have a separate company called National PTA Properties, LLC for which they received over $1 million for “management of rental properties.”

Why would the National PTA need the extra PPP money from the government when schools across the nation were shut down, yet it appears they were still collecting membership dues?

In 2021, the PTA reported receiving over $5 million in membership dues and ended the year with almost $10 million in assets or fund balances. However, it still sought and was given a $1 million loan forgiveness—money taken out of the pockets of the taxpayer. In the same year that the taxpayers gave the PTA $1 million, they spent approximately the same amount funding their radical far-left positions according to their lobbying records.

The address for the PTA’s LLC in Alexandria reveals an organization called the Learning First Alliance (LFA) which is “a partnership of leading education associations representing more than 10 million members.” Among its member organizations are the School Superintendent’s Association (AASA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA), PDK International, and the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

The NSBA is the organization which infamously wrote a letter to President Biden demanding he treat concerned parents as “domestic terrorists.”

The CEO of PDK International is James Lane, the former Virginia State Superintendent of Schools. Lane’s far-left agenda while in charge in Virginia included a program called “#edequity” (“education equity”) that distributed statewide teacher training on issues such as “white privilege” and other social justice initiatives. On the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Lane’s department of education disseminated a sensitivity training program which highlighted not the tragedies of 9/11, but how teachers should be careful to not use words such as “terrorists,” and they should reject the notion of American exceptionalism.

The executive director of the National PTA, Nathan Monell, is on the board of the Learning First Alliance and was previously the LFA board chair. The LFA’s IRS forms indicate that it paid $4,380 to the “NPTA” for rent each year from 2018–2021, which is quite a bargain in the heart of Alexandria, VA. The PTA’s list of collaborating organizations reveal a trove of social and climate justice warriors, transgender ideologues, and anti-gun fanatics pushing these far-left narratives.

The original purpose of the National Congress of Mothers—the true roots of the National PTA—was to “better the lives of children in education, health and safety.” Unfortunately, the National PTA seems to have become a political organization that advocates for social justice agendas such as attacking the Second Amendment and women’s rights.

A 2021 policy brief by the National PTA, lists their areas of advocacy:

  • Providing mental health resources to schools and communities
  • Improve funding for wellness practitioners
  • Encourage the use of fair behavior intervention practices
  • Provide social-emotional resources for parents at home

This is proof that the PTA views public schools as a social services organization rather than an educational institution.

The National PTA boasts a membership of nearly 4 million people. Perhaps it is time to start reducing the size of the organization by parents pulling their membership and starting their own Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). PTOs are not required to send money to any national organization and are not subjected to the PTA’s political agendas. It’s time to defund the PTA.

Victoria Manning is the vice president of Students First VA and an elected member of the Virginia Beach School Board

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