PTA vs. PTO – There’s No Difference Between PTAs and PTOs


pta vs.pto momThere are many arguments surrounding the differences between a PTA and PTO. Although it might seem that the only difference is that one as “Association” in its name and the other “Organization,” to many there are major differences between the two.


The Parent Teacher Association is considered a formal membership organization that has its headquarters in Virginia and has a long 105-year history. It then oversees local groups (or chapters if you will) that choose to belong to the National PTA.
These local groups must pay dues to the state and national organizations as well as abide by both state and national group rules set forth by the National PTA. It’s an honor to be a part of the National PTA and they care about carefully protecting its name, with due-paying members allowed to call themselves a PTA. Despite its well known name, the PTA only represents about 24% of the nation’s parent groups.


On the other hand, a PTO is just an independent organization that is governed by its own rules and regulations. It doesn’t have to pay dues to any other organization and is unique to the school and its goals. Other names that PTO’s go by include PTC (Parent Teacher Committee) or an HSA (Home School Association), but their goals are the same: to benefit the school and its children. Many schools often choose to have PTOs instead of joining the PTA because of the independence and freedom they have to tailor the organization for the individual school.

Many PTAs will jump down your throat if you call them a PTO and the same if you called a PTO a PTA. Both take pride in their affiliation and will surely correct you if you make the wrong distinction.

But at the heart of both PTA and PTO is children and the school…so does it really matter?

No it doesn’t!

Both are added support for the school and the children, which should be all that matters. When you think about it, both PTAs and PTOs are meant to serve a great purpose – they offer support for the school and the education and well being of the children who attend. Both want the best for the children and want to help the school in any way, thus having the same goals.

In today’s day and age, labels have to go. It’s time to move on from systems and companies and folks that create these differences. Labels are a thing of the past since all that matters are the children.

Time to move to systems that will empower parents and members, regardless if it’s a PTA or PTO

Instead of looking to the past and remaining fixated on unimportant labels, it’s time to look to the future and move on to cloud-based tools that will simplify the tasks and processes involved with being a part of either a PTA or PTO. It’s now time to move to systems that will empower parents and members, regardless if it’s a PTA or PTO. Because at the end of the day, all that matters is helping the children get the most out of their education so that they can succeed in life.

A cloud-based system like My School On The Cloud can help make tasks and job roles a lot easier so that board members can efficiently do their job without getting held down by outdated tools and processes. With a system like this, your PTA or PTO will be able to have a smooth school year to benefit the children and the school!

So instead of focusing on labels, it’s time to focus on new systems that will only empower parents of PTAs and PTOs, such as My School On The Cloud

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