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May Schmidt

TEXAS CONGRESS OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS. The Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers (Texas PTA) was organized as the Texas Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations in Dallas on October 19, 1909, when the constitution was adopted and the first officers elected. Ella Caruthers Porter served as the first president. The organization was founded as a branch of the National Congress of Mothers. Membership in the organization was primarily mothers, with some fathers and teachers. Originally composed of local units and the state organization, in 1911 the Texas PTA organized districts to carry out extension work. The state headquarters moved from Dallas to Austin in 1921, and the name of the organization was changed in 1931 to the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers.

The goals of the Texas PTA are to encourage cooperation between parents and teachers in the education of children; to raise the standards of home life; to secure adequate laws for the protection of children; and to promote the welfare of children at home, in school, and in the community. In the early 1990s the Texas PTA had more than 850,000 members who formed 2,700 local units, 114 councils, eighteen districts, and a state board of directors. The Texas PTA has two statewide meetings each year. The Convention, held in November, is the business meeting, where the delegate body elects officers and adopts legislative action and resolutions. In mid-July the Texas PTA holds a leadership seminar at the University of Texas at Austin, where officers and chairmen from local units, councils, and districts attend training sessions.

Membership in the Texas PTA was originally restricted to whites. A parallel African-American group, the Texas Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers, was organized in 1920 by Mrs. W. S. Benton. In 1970, by direction of the National PTA Board of Directors, the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers and the Texas Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers joined to become one organization. The Texas PTA published its Motherhood Magazine from 1910 to 1921. The magazine subsequently went through several names changes: Texas Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teacher Associations Bulletin (1922), State Bulletin (1923), Texas Parent-Teacher (1926–69), Texas PTA (1970–74), PTA (1974), and PTA Communicator (1975-).

Lucille Moore, History and Development of the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1946). Louie Elizabeth Rogers Reifel, The Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers and the Public School Libraries of Texas (M.L.S. thesis, University of Texas, 1956).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, May Schmidt, "TEXAS CONGRESS OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS," accessed May 24, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kat02.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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