HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The Texas Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) said membership enrollment is down statewide, leaving some campuses with inactive PTAs.
This includes some schools in the Hays Consolidated Independent School District. On Friday afternoon, dedicated Negley Elementary PTA members geared up for another school fundraiser.
“I am up on each campus that I have a kid on,” said PTA member Jessica Bedwell.
Having five kids and being an active parent, Bedwell’s heart is with the three Hays CISD campuses that have inactive PTAs right now.
“PTAs are such an important part to what [schools] try to do,” Bedwell said.
According to Hays CISD, Uhland, Fuentes and Camino Real Elementary Schools don’t have enough members to have a recognized PTA. An active PTA requires at least 20 members.
“Are we where we’d like to be this time last year? Of course not,” Texas PTA Executive Director Kyle Ward said. “But we have some great PTAs.”
Ward said so far, there are 300,000 members this year. That’s down from a total of 523,000 last year. However, Ward said the organization has until July 31 to increase enrollment.
“PTA is not just for parents, moms and dads,” Ward said. “Everyone should care about our public schools.”
In-person meetings being limited have been detrimental to enrollment numbers. But according to Ward, online membership is up 40%. He said they are working to engage as many people as they can.
“We want our community to feel like they’re a part of the school,” Bedwell said. “And we especially want our parents to feel like this is family, and they’re a part of it.”
85% of the state’s PTAs are still active right now, according to Ward. For more information on how to join one of your local school’s PTA organizations, click here.