The Local Unit PTA
To remain in good standing a unit must:
- Adhere to the Purposes and basic policies of the PTA;
- Have a minimum of 15 members including three officers: president, secretary and treasurer;
- Submit per capita dues, insurance premiums and member names and addresses by the California State PTA deadlines; and
- Have bylaws approved according to the procedures of the California State PTA. (Bylaws for PTAs in California 2.4, 51)
CHARTERING A NEW UNIT
Any group may request to organize as a unit of the California State PTA provided there is not an existing PTA unit in the school. The California State PTA will recognize only one PTA in any school, unless otherwise approved by the California State PTA parliamentarian and authorized by the California State PTA Board of Managers. A preschool PTA may be organized in any preschool program.
It is recommended an association must be composed of not less than 15 members, of whom at least three serve in the offices of president, secretary, and treasurer.
The 30-day membership requirement for voting privileges and holding office shall be waived for new organizations.
The district PTA president is responsible for all organizing done in the district PTA and should be consulted when forming a new unit is contemplated.
The name of the new association will be presented before the California State PTA Board of Managers when:
- The application for acceptance in the California State PTA have been received;
- The per capita dues with member names and address have been received in the state office;
- The unit bylaws have been approved by the state parliamentarian; and
- An Employer Identification Number application has been submitted to the IRS.
Upon acceptance by the California State PTA Board of Managers, the state office shall issue a charter to the new association.
A fee of $2.00 is charged for the replacement of a charter that has been lost or destroyed. Contact the state office at 213.620.1100 to order a charter.
CHANGES IN ASSOCIATION STATUS
A unit must notify the district PTA president of any proposed change in association status at least 60 days before the unit votes to make such change. It is the responsibility of the district PTA president to know the status of every unit within the district PTA and give information and advice on the procedures to be followed. Specific PTA procedures are outlined in the California State PTA Advanced Leadership Tools, which is available to council and district PTAs.
Changing Name: When an association votes to change its name or the school district changes the name, the district PTA must send a Change of Status Form and an amended set of bylaws to the California State PTA parliamentarian for approval. Upon approval, the Change of Status Form will be sent to the state office. At the next meeting of the California State PTA Board of Managers, the change will be presented for approval. A new charter will be sent without charge.
Becoming PTA/PTSA: When a PTA votes to become a PTSA, the district PTA must send a Change of Status Form and an amended set of bylaws to the California State PTA parliamentarian for approval. Upon approval, the Change of Status Form will be sent to the state office. At the next meeting of the California State PTA Board of Managers, the change will be presented for approval. A new charter will be sent without charge.
When the bylaws are changed making the unit a PTSA, provision should be made for at least one position on the executive board to be filled by a student. The unit bylaws should be reviewed for further information - amendments, officers, election of the nominating committee, and elections. It is strongly recommended that the entire set of bylaws - each article and section - be reviewed. The Change of Status form and revised bylaws must be sent to the California State PTA through channels (unit to council [if in council] to district PTA to California State PTA).
Dividing: When one PTA is serving two or more public schools and wishes to organize a unit in each school, the members may vote to divide into two or more associations. Consideration of a division should be undertaken only in consultation with the principals of the schools involved, the council president (if in council), and the district PTA president. Decisions need to be made regarding unit names, division of assets, chartering, etc.
Combining: There may be a number of reasons for combining associations, such as the closing of one school or duplication of activities. Consideration should occur only only in consultation with the principals of the schools involved, the council president (if in council), and the district PTA president. Decisions will need to be made on name of the unit, funds in unit treasuries, bylaws, officers, etc.
Transferring: When a school district reorganization or boundary change has become effective, it may be necessary for a PTA to transfer from one district PTA to another. The unit should report this change in writing to its present council (if in council) and district PTA, with a copy to the state office. The district PTAs involved will use procedures outlined in the Advanced Leadership Tools to complete the transfer. Other reasons for transferring should be considered in consultation with the council president (if in council) and the district PTA president.
Disbanding: The district PTA president should be notified immediately of any proposal to disband before the vote is taken. Units are strongly urged to request help from their council (if in council) or district PTA in order to avoid disbanding. Many times, outside help and guidance will give necessary assistance and new direction. However, should disbanding be the only alternative, certain procedures must be followed.
Disbanding a unit PTA is of concern to all its members and the community; therefore, steps should be taken to ensure that all will have an opportunity to express their opinions and to allow members to vote whether or not to disband.
The decision to disband is significant and requires at least two meetings. All concerns, pro and con, should be discussed at a regular or specially- called "emergency" PTA meeting with a quorum present. All members, including administrators and teachers, should be notified, and district PTA representatives should be present for counseling and guidance.
After discussion, a committee should be appointed which includes representatives of the district PTA to carry out necessary procedures. These would include preparation of recommendations to be brought to a subsequent meeting of the membership for vote. Members must vote on proper disposition of property and funds of the organization.
Each PTA's bylaws, as a basic policy, provide that the assets of the PTA be used for one or more of the educational purposes for which they were collected, and not be given to individuals.
When a Change of Status-Disband Form is filed with the California State PTA, the unit shall surrender immediately legal documents, financial and historical records and all its assets, including property, to the California State PTA or to another PTA organized under the authority of the California State PTA.
As an agent of the California State PTA, the district PTA may hold funds (minimum $25.00) and other property of a disbanded unit in trust for a period not to exceed two years. Should the unit not be reactivated at the end of the two years, the funds and other property so held in trust shall become the property of the district PTA.
When a unit votes to disband, the district PTA files the Change of Status-Disband Form with the state office. The California State PTA Board of Managers subsequently votes by a two-thirds (2/3) majority to disband that PTA.
Charter Withdrawal: The bylaws of the California State PTA also provide for the withdrawal of the charter of a PTA for nonpayment of dues and/or insurance premiums. The unit will be notified in writing by April 30. If dues and/or insurance premiums are still not paid by July 1, the unit charter will be withdrawn by vote of the California State PTA Board of Managers at the July meeting.
The bylaws also provide for the withdrawal of the unit charter if that unit is not in good standing for other reasons, such as: (a) fewer than 15 members; (b) vacant president, secretary or treasurer positions; and (c) violations of policies, procedures or other sections of the bylaws.
When there are alleged violations that may be subjective in nature, such as those involving policy and/or not following proper financial procedures, the California State PTA grievance committee may be charged with determining the facts and recommending a solution that may include withdrawing the PTA's charter.
Upon the withdrawal of the charter, the California State PTA has the right to collect and transfer funds, including funds deposited by the unit with a financial institution over which the unit or its officers have or had signature authority or control. The unit should immediately surrender all records, assets, and property to the district PTA. Property will be held in suspense for a period of two years. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) nonprofit identification number also will be revoked.
In all cases the unit shall be notified in writing at least 15 days before the charter withdrawal is to come before the California State PTA Board of Managers for action.
Rescinding Charter Withdrawal: If a unit remits necessary dues and/or insurance premiums including penalty through channels to the state office and submits a copy of its bylaws to the California State PTA parliamentarian for approval by October 1 of the same calendar year in which the charter is withdrawn, charter withdrawal action may be rescinded by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the California State PTA Board of Managers at its next meeting.
In the event of error or state of emergency, the California State PTA Board of Managers will consider rescinding charter withdrawals for those units that have complied with all requirements to have its charter withdrawal rescinded at their next regularly scheduled meeting.