Elected once a year, at the beginning of the school year, the main role of the local PTA is to build strong working relationships among parents, teachers and schools, in support of students. This can include recruiting and coordinating volunteers, organizing parent education events, planning teacher appreciation activities and much more.
The PTA is sometimes perceived as a fundraising group, but this is not its primary responsibility. School PTA meetings serve as venues for discussions about a variety of educational issues. Teachers may talk to the parent community about a new reading programme or student discipline issues. Experts from the community may talk about building better relationships with adolescents, or share important information about school reform initiatives. Parents may raise concerns about such things as homework or proposed changes in the school curriculum. The PTA can also provide a powerful mediating function, providing a neutral forum for resolving conflicts that sometimes occur in schools around controversial issues.