Our History

The Arlington County Council of PTAs has been successfully advocating for investments in education and the well-being for every child for decades.

Arlington CCPTA got its start chartered under the Cooperative Education Association, which was Virginia's Branch of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers (the predecessor to the National PTA).

CCPTA partnered with the school health department to provide medical exams for incoming children.

Arlington Daily, Volume 9, Number 101, 27 April 1948

Advertisement by the CCPTA and other civic groups urging passage of the school bond for construction of Gunston, expansion of Kenmore, planning for Yorktown, and new classrooms at Drew, Jamestown, Oakridge, Wilson, Woodmont, Lee, Clay, Custis, Madison and Marshall schools.

Daily Sun, Volume 20, Number 293, 4 June 1956, pg 12.

William M. Lightsey, President of Arlington CCPTA, was able to continue to hold racially integrated meetings despite the new Virginia Attorney General's ruling that public assemblages had to be held on a segregated basis. Lightsey argued that because only PTA members could attend a meeting, it was not a "public assemblage."

Daily Sun, Volume 21, Number 98, 20 November 1956

After the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, Virginia moved to defund and close public schools rather than integrate them. Virginia PTA opposed these efforts and Lightsey began a lobbying campaign across the state to keep schools open, as Lightsey recalled in a 1989 interview. "The Governor told me - I had an opportunity to speak with him shortly after that - it was not until after the statewide PTA Convention the preceding fall by an overwhelming vote called on the government to take whatever action was necessary to keep the schools open, did he realize that there was widespread support of that position throughout the state," Lightsey stated.

The CCPTA unanimously passed a resolution objecting to the consideration as required curriculum of a controversial text written by a local segregationist. State legislators were advocating for passing legislation to require that school districts consider incorporating the text -- so the CCPTA objected to intrusion by the General Assembly into State Board of Education matters.

Northern Virginia Sun, Volume 25, Number 117, 21 February 1962

The CCPTA passed a resolution opposing an increase in out-of-pocket costs for school lunch, citing to the fact that participation in the program would likely decrease, which would "nullify the purpose for which it was designed, that of improving the diet and eating habit of youngsters." At the same meeting, the CCPTA endorsed a statewide system of community colleges, a minimum salary for college-educated teachers, state financing of summer schools, and kindergarten programs.

Northern Virginia Sun, Volume 29, Number 89, 18 January 1966

The CCPTA held a panel "to discuss new thoughts and trends in sex education in schools," as a follow up to the Virginia PTA urging local units to request that their school board approve sex education in schools.

Northern Virginia Sun, Volume 30, Number 83, 11 January 1967