Restrictions on Endorsement of Candidates

PTAs, as tax-exempt associations, cannot support or oppose political parties or candidates, including those running for school boards and other nonpartisan offices. Participation in these types of activities will endanger the association’s nonprofit status with the IRS (Nonpartisan Policy).

A current or former PTA board member must not use his/her PTA title or the name of the PTA to endorse a candidate even if just for purposes of identification in any print, electronic, or website candidate literature, or interview or letter to the editor.

Judgment should be exercised by PTA leaders on whether privately endorsing a candidate (without using a PTA title) could negatively affect a future relationship with the elected official should a different winning candidate win.

For the purpose of this policy, all elections involving candidates are defined as partisan elections, even those for “nonpartisan” offices, such as school board or city council. Use of a PTA’s name or the PTA trademark with participation in any partisan activity will endanger PTA’s nonprofit status.

PTA members are not prohibited from running for public office themselves nor from listing PTA involvement as part of their biographical information and/or campaign literature

Individual candidates cannot be invited to address PTA meetings, even if they are PTA members, unless all other candidates are invited. This avoids the reality or appearance of bias or support of an individual candidate. There is no restriction on a member who is running for office from performing his or her regular PTA duties. He or she just needs to be mindful to keep PTA and campaign activities separate.

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