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 and insurance premiums by the California State PTA due dates;
  • File all required state and federal tax returns and other government forms; and
  • Have bylaws reviewed yearly and approved every three years according to the procedures of the California State PTA (Bylaws for PTAs in California).

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.

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 within the first thirty days of their charter.

The district PTA president is responsible for the organization of new PTAs within the district PTA. The organizing process may be delegated to the district PTA extension team, with the assistance of the council. Conformity to California State PTA requirements must be verified by the district president.

The new association will be presented for acceptance by the California State PTA Board of Managers when:

  • The application for acceptance in the California State PTA has been received;
  • The per capita dues have been received in the state office;
  • The unit bylaws have been received in the state office and 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 is charged for the replacement of a charter that has been lost or destroyed. Contact the state office to order a replacement charter.

Changes in Association Status

To ensure all requirements of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization are met, 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. Inasmuch as a change of status represents amending the association bylaws, a 30-day written advance notice is required to all PTA members. The proposed change of status requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of its members recorded in the minutes. 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 school’s 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 charter with the new name will be sent without charge.

Becoming a 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 charter with the new name will be sent without charge.

When the bylaws are changed making the unit a PTSA, the California State PTA recommends that provision 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.

roster of officers: A listing of all unit, council, and district PTA officers’ names and contact information that is submitted through channels to the California State PTA.

The district PTA is responsible for postmarking or delivering unit and council PTA official paperwork by the California State PTA due dates.

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. The district PTA must send the 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.

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 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. The district PTA must send the 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.

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. The district PTA must send the 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.

Disbanding: 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 district and council PTA president must be notified immediately of any proposal to disband at least 60 days before the vote to disband is taken. Many times, outside help and guidance will give necessary assistance and new direction. Should disbanding be the only alternative, certain procedures must be followed to protect the members and comply with federal nonprofit 501(c)(3) regulations, including meeting notice requirements.

The district PTA is responsible for organizing and disbanding units and must be included in disbanding deliberations.

The decision to disband is significant and requires at least two meetings. All concerns should be discussed at a regular or special PTA meeting with a quorum present. All members, including administrators and teachers, must be notified at least thirty (30) days in advance, following the notice requirements of the bylaws, and district PTA representatives shall be present for counseling and guidance and to address the association immediately preceding any vote to answer final questions or concerns.

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 prior to the vote to disband as a constituent organization. If the vote to disband is adopted by the membership, the disbursement of all assets must be handled to comply with the 501(c)(3) requirements as detailed in the bylaws.

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 unit votes to disband the unit shall surrender immediately all legal documents, financial and historical records, and all assets, including property to the California State PTA or other PTA organized under the authority of the California State PTA bylaws. The district PTA may hold funds and property of the disbanded unit in trust for a period not to exceed two years. The district PTA will file the change of Status-Disband Form with the state office.

Units are 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 to protect the volunteers and comply with federal nonprofit 501(c)(3) regulations.

Disbanding: The district and council PTA president must be notified immediately of any proposal to disband at least 60 days before the vote to disband is taken.

Charter Withdrawal: The bylaws of the California State PTA 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 March 1 if these required payments are delinquent. If dues and/or insurance premiums are still not paid by March 31, the unit charter will be withdrawn by vote of the California State PTA Board of Managers at its next 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; and (d) failure to comply with the legal filing requirements of federal or state government agencies for three consecutive filing periods.

Failure to comply with the legal filing requirements of federal and/or state government agencies for a third consecutive filing period results in automatic revocation of tax-exempt status and automatic withdrawal of the unit/council/district charter.

When there are alleged violations that may be subjective in nature, such as those involving policy and/or not following proper financial procedures, the district PTA or 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 shall immediately surrender all records, assets, and property to the district PTA. Property will be held in suspense for a period of two years. Each local association shall, upon withdrawal of its charter by the California State PTA, immediately cease and desist from any further use of the association’s Internal Revenue Service Employer Identification Number (EIN) as a constituent organization under the group exemption number issued to the California State PTA. The California State PTA will file notice with the IRS that the unit is no longer a constituent organization.

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.

Print Friendly