PTA and IPSF share a common goal—ensuring excellence in our children’s education. The organizations work closely with IUSD to achieve this goal. However, they differ in their structure and focus, and our community needs both organizations to ensure the continued excellence of Irvine schools.

A registered 501(c) (3) charity, PTA is one of the oldest and largest child advocacy organizations in the United States. When you join PTA, you are joining at the unit (school) level, but you are also becoming a part of a national organization.

PTA Structure
PTA units are governed through by-laws which dictate how much fundraising may be done and how it may be achieved. For example, PTAs may not employ staff directly and the majority of funds raised must be spent in the year in which they are received, rather than longer-term or multi-year commitments. Additionally, IUSD’s school board has policies that govern donations and gifts to schools that PTA units must follow.

IPSF Structure
IPSF is also a 501 (c) 3 organization, but with the sole purpose of providing support to all schools in the Irvine Unified School District. Through community contributions, corporate donations and other fundraising activities, IPSF makes substantial annual grants to IUSD that support district-wide programs such as Classroom Support , Fine Arts, Music, and Science, grants to teachers in the classroom, Summer Enrichment program and more.

IPSF also provides the district with funds that can be used for salaries. For example, funds from IPSF are used by the district each year to provide a minimum level of nursing and health clerk support at each school site. Some PTAs supplement these funds for additional hours, but PTAs could not hire these important staff members—that must be done through IUSD and is made possible by IPSF.


PTA = Great Stuff for Your School
PTA funds site-specific needs, such as equipment and supplies.  For example, classroom and art materials, library books, computers and technology purchases, school equipment, enrichment programs and limited staff support.
IPSF= Great Staff for Every School
IPSF’s annual grant to IUSD pays for staff expenses such as teacher salaries.  For example,  teachers, instructional assistants, music specialists, health clerks and nurses were funded in part by IPSF in 2011-2012.
PTA Programs = School Site Specific
Most PTA programs are focused at the school site.  Examples include assemblies, playground activities, parent education, family nights, jog-a-thons, and book fairs.
IPSF Programs = District Wide
IPSF programs take place at schools throughout the district, insuring equal access for all students.  Examples include Afterschool Classroom Enrichment (ACE),  Summer Enrichment Academy, Science Little League, etc.



Although separate organizations, IPSF and Irvine Unified Council PTA share one common goal: work with IUSD to ensure excellence in education. While PTA's primary mission is advocacy, they also raise funds to support individual schools. IPSF's primary mission is to provide programs and funding to support districtwide programs at every school. With our different structures, Irvine has great opportunities to support both and together give students what they need to succeed.

What IPSF Does:

  • Aids in class size reduction by granting funds for staff expenses, such as salaries for instructional assistants, music specialists in K-3, high school athletic trainers, and a districtwide nursing position
  • Provides grants to teachers to implement innovative teaching methods and technology
  • Works with corporate sponsors to help fund STEAM-related programs such as the IUSD Science Fair, Donald Bren Honors Concert and the Middle School Career Conference
  • Provides quality cost efficient programs such as Summer Enrichment Academy, Afterschool Classroom Enrichment (ACE), and Instrument Rental
  • All donations to IPSF are eligible to be matched by the City of Irvine

What PTA Does:

  • Funds site-specific needs which can vary by school such as equipment and supplies, support for PE paraprofessionals, Meet the Masters art program, health clerks, media clerks and enhanced technology
  • Focuses on school sites, hosting assemblies, playground activities, parent education, book fairs, field trips and coordinate teacher appreciation events and Reflections Program
  • Some high schools also fund areas such as software for computer programs, mini grants to teachers and Grad Night
  • We often get asked questions such as "Can our PTA hire more teachers to reduce class size"? and "If PTA can't hire teachers and keep our class sizes from expanding, who can?" These are great questions and we love how the PTA at one of our schools, Bonita Canyon, answers them. Click here to read the answers. We couldn't have said it better ourselves!

Through our combined efforts, IPSF and PTA are enriching the educational experience of each child in every school. But we can't do it alone. Get involved this year with IPSF (here's how) AND the PTA at your child's school (here's a list).