Many people believe that Parent Teacher Associations and Parent Teacher Organizations are one and the same; however, there are a few key differences. While both programs aim to help local schools and students, their organizational structures and benefits differ.
Parent Teacher Organizations are led by parents, teachers or community members who work to better schools through fundraising, volunteering and more. PTO is a general term used to describe independent groups that work to benefit individual school campuses.
The national Parent Teacher Association is a nonprofit made up of a network of school advocacy groups who work to improve education, health and safety of all children locally and nationally. PTA members also work to support legislation that raises the level of opportunity for children.
At McKinney ISD, 14 schools have some type of PTO, while 10 schools have PTAs. These schools are shown in the map below. Blue markers represent PTOs and red markers represent PTAs.