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Creating an event

Areas for PTA Involvement
Chairman and Committee Procedures

If the event is held in collaboration with community organizations or other PTAs, each participating unit, council or district PTA should follow the proper approval procedures specified below.

California State PTA strongly urges unit, council or district PTAs to refrain from serving alcoholic beverages at PTA functions. PTAs may not engage in the sale of alcoholic beverages. (See the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide, Red Section, Alcohol; and Toolkit, Alcohol and PTA Events)

Preliminary Planning

Begin six months in advance, if possible.

Discuss and obtain approval to hold an event from the PTA executive board and principal or school representative.

Ensure the event will not conflict with other unit, council or district PTA observances.

Obtain a vote of approval for the event at a meeting of the association. Include a motion to disburse monies to cover the estimated cost involved.

If being held off campus, obtain permission for facility use from appropriate manager. If asked to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement, contact the California State PTA insurance broker.

PTA president appoints the event chairman and committee. Determine the goals of this committee. Articulate what the committee hopes to accomplish with the activities.

Appoint several members to the planning committee. Unit bylaws and standing rules may have information to guide the project. If possible, include the principal or a faculty member, the public relations/publications coordinator (if there is one), and a student (Event Planning Worksheet).

Review event material—make copies as needed. From previous chairman or committee, obtain the procedure book, National PTA Quick-Reference Guide, Our Children, and PTA in California.

Discuss budget needs with president and treasurer. Ideally, the budget should be planned with a line item for the event. The planned activities must stay within the budget. If necessary, the community may be asked to partner by donating materials, hospitality items and perhaps even a grant or sponsor to underwrite the planned activity or event. Be realistic in estimating the costs. Remember to include possible custodial costs, publicity, and postage.

Decide on a focus area, if any. Brainstorm ideas with the committee. Decide on activities that have the best chance for good participation from the student-body, the parents, and the community. If the PTA has never held this event before, do not overwhelm the faculty with activities.

Keep in mind past traditions but also investigate new ways to hold an appropriate event that will fit the school and community.

Select a theme as the major focus, and decide on the type of program (e.g., family dinner, musical program).

As early as possible, check school calendar and decide on a date.

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that disabled persons must be reasonably accommodated by modifying policies, making physical changes and obtaining equipment to assist their participation in any activity. For PTA meetings/events, this could include seating to accommodate an attendant accompanying a member or reserved seating in a location to accommodate a member’s special need, providing written handouts to supplement discussion and/or providing qualified readers or interpreters for individuals having a hearing or sight impairment.

Discuss rules and expectations with facility management. Put all agreements in writing. Determine if permission or permits from school district or city are needed.

Notify parents and community to “save the date” for the event. Also send notes to past and present PTA presidents, leaders and award recipients, and school district and community members.

Notify staff, explaining event goals and requesting their support.

Schedule at least three committee meetings prior to event.

Never sign a Hold Harmless Agreement on behalf of the unit, council or district PTA until the California State PTA insurance broker has been consulted. (Hold Harmless Agreement)

Transportation Planning

In situations where PTA sponsors activities and secures transportation, such as “Grad Night” (hereinafter referred to as “events”), the PTA must provide accessible transportation at no additional cost to students with mobility disabilities in compliance with the requirements set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Local PTA units shall coordinate with their local school and/or school district to obtain updated lists of accessible transportation providers if such lists exist. Questions from PTA units, districts or councils regarding a request for accessible transportation should first be directed to the school district. Additional questions may be directed to the California State PTA Vice President for Leadership Services.

When local PTA units secure transportation for participating students for events, local PTA units must comply with the ADA which does not permit services that are different or separate from that provided to other individuals without disabilities, unless such action is necessary to provide an individual with a disability or class of such individuals with a good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation or other opportunity that is as effective as that provided to others.

If the local PTA unit secures accessible transportation to events, as described above, and it fails to arrive, the PTA shall make every reasonable effort to secure alternative accessible transportation to enable students with mobility disabilities to still attend. In no instance shall a local PTA unit inform students with mobility disabilities that they must secure their own transportation.

A student with a disability who requires a one-to-one aide as part of his or her Individualized Education Program (“IEP”) shall be permitted to attend any PTA event with his or her aide, as the student’s family deems necessary. Further, no fee shall be charged for any PTA event ticket for the student’s aide. For any event where a student requires an aide, the cost of the aide’s transportation shall be borne by the PTA. PTA may ask to be reimbursed by the event venue, affiliated school and/or school district.

Event Development

Begin three months in advance, if possible. Develop a timeline utilizing check sheets. Assign committee members specific duties.

Service Providers/Speakers/Program Participants (At Least Two People)

One person should be designated as the contact person on invitation letters.

One person should assist with paperwork (Service Provider/Speakers/Program Participants Check List).

Publicity Campaign (At Least One Person)
Publicity may include the use of one or more of the following:

News releases
PTA newsletter articles
Posters for placement at local business locations
Radio/cable television PSA “spots”
Website promotion
Email alerts

Handouts/Fliers (At Least One Person)
Handouts may include the following:

Fliers to parents
Attendee record form
Permission slips, if necessary
Service provider station signs

Operations (At Least One Person)
Responsibilities include:

Overseeing facility, equipment, and overall operation.
Checking all participating service provider/speaker/program participant requirements.
Coordinating with school district and school custodian.
Ensuring all equipment is in working order.
Consulting with appropriate facility management.
Considering whether additional service providers are needed and reviewing other logistic issues.
Cleaning up after the event.

Outreach (At Least One Person)
This committee member will

Organize volunteers and coordinate hospitality.

Select invitees from the local area. Send a letter of invitation requesting participation, including a response due date.


Begin two months in advance.

Send follow-up letter to confirm service provider participation, including a map of the school and parking location (See Sample Participant Response Form below).

Develop fliers to inform parents and community of the event.

Develop news releases.

Request equipment from school district or facility manager to meet service provider needs.



(Name) PTA/PTSA (Program)

Thank you for agreeing to participate in the (Name) PTA/PTSA (Program). Please mail the completed form to (Name) PTA/PTSA, (Address) no later than (date).

__ Yes, I will participate in the (name) PTA/PTSA (Program) on (date).

 Organization/Participant Name: _______________________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________________

Daytime Phone: (_______)_______________
Evening Phone: (_______)_______________
Email: ______________________________

Service and information to be provided:
Please include a detailed description of the services you will provide.


Please list any equipment, audio-visual, space or special requirements you have.


__ No, I will be unable to participate in the (name) PTA/PTSA (Program), but I would be interested in providing related materials. Please list materials which will be provided.

Fig. 7-1 Sample

Crunch Time

Begin one month in advance.

Be sure to have sufficient tables and chairs as required by participating service providers. This information will be available upon receipt of response form.

Provide custodian/facility manager with a detailed drawing of the layout for tables and chairs.

Plan for access for the disabled.

Recruit and schedule volunteers. Utilize nursing schools, dental schools, and public health agency health promoters.

Plan refreshments, such as coffee and donuts in the morning or a light lunch for all participating service providers and volunteers.

Check to ensure all equipment requirements can be met.

Distribute event fliers and email announcements to parents and community.

Prepare service provider station signs.

Day of the Event

Have nametags ready for all service providers/speakers/program participants and volunteers.

Check to make sure hospitality area is in order and refreshments prepared.

Check setup of the event stations and all audio-visual equipment.

Welcome the service providers/speakers/program participants and be sure to give them an evaluation sheet (Evaluation Form) that should be collected before they leave at the end of the event.

Have volunteers sign in, including addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses.

Have at least two designated troubleshooters for the day, and make sure that the service providers and volunteers know who they are.

Clean up the facility and leave it in as good or better condition than it was.

After the Event

Tabulate the evaluations.

Send thank you notes to all participating service providers/speakers/program participants and volunteers.

Write an event report and place it in the procedure book. Include ideas for changes gleaned from the evaluations and comments from participants.

  • Did the activities help to accomplish goals?
  • Was there good participation from the faculty and the parents?
  • Did the kids enjoy it?
  • What are the recommendations for next year?


This section defines or explains terms that financial officers and chairmen may encounter in their PTA work.

  • Approval by Membership – The requirement that all expenditures, programs and projects, including those specified in the budget, must obtain approval and/or ratification by the membership. All approval of expenditures, programs and projects MUST be recorded in the minutes.
  • Authorization for Payment – An authorization for payment documents approval to pay bills for services or supplies, or reimbursement to a member for expenses. After approval by the association, the completed authorization for payment permits the treasurer to write checks. All bills, receipts and invoices should be attached to approved authorization.
  • Bylaws – Specific rules of operation for the orderly conduct of business adopted by vote of the members. All PTA bylaws have certain specified, starred sections in common which cannot be changed. Any change in bylaws requires approval of the state parliamentarian, a 30-day prior notice and a two-thirds vote of the membership.
  • Cash Verification Form – A form to document receipt of coins, currency and checks from membership, fundraisers, and donations, which protects and safeguards volunteers’ handling of PTA funds.
  • Carry-over Funds – These funds represent the amount which is set aside to begin operations at the beginning of the next PTA fiscal year, prior to the onset of fundraising activities.
  • Certificate of Insurance – A document issued by the insurance broker certifying that an insurance policy covering general liability is in force. A Certificate of Insurance is included in the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide mailed to all unit, council, and district PTAs in good standing. A copy may be obtained by contacting the California State PTA insurance broker.
  • Channels – The formal communication route through the association to ensure that each level within the association is informed. In PTA, the channel is from the unit to the council (if in council) or from the unit to the district PTA (when there is no council), from the council to the district PTA, and from the district PTA to California State PTA.
  • Commingled Funds – Funds from two organizations deposited together. Because a unit is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association, it must comply with all Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements, regulations and laws. The IRS considers all funds in PTA accounts to belong to the association regardless of source. A PTA must handle only those funds over which it has full control and the total amount must be declared as gross income to the PTA. All funds in the PTA account must have association approval for disbursement.
  • Contract – A legally enforceable agreement between two or more persons or organizations. Contracts must be approved by the PTA membership before being signed by two elected officers, one of whom must be the president.
  • Contributions – Donations of money, property, or services received by the PTA from individuals or businesses. PTAs must follow Internal Revenue Service guidelines for receipts for contributions.
  • Embezzlement – Stealing of money entrusted into one’s care by means of fraud for one’s own use.
  • Facilities Use Permit – A permit required by most school districts that when approved authorizes the PTA to use school site facilities.
  • Fiscal Year – The financial accounting period established by the PTA, and identified in the Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, Article XIV, Section 1, as a time for the association to close its financial books and records for the past 12-month period. The IRS is notified of the fiscal year at the time of organization when IRS Form SS-4 is submitted.
  • Founders Day Freewill Offering – A freewill offering commemorating the founders of PTA. Contributions are forwarded through channels to California State PTA and set aside in a special fund for leadership services. The contributions are considered as “funds not belonging to the unit, council, or district” and are not included as income in the budget.
  • Gifts to Individuals – A personal gift to a PTA member or school staff. Gifts to individuals cannot be paid for with PTA funds. Personal gifts include gift cards, gifts for baby showers, secretary’s day, bereavements, weddings, or birthdays. If the unit wishes to recognize an individual, donations must be collected as freewill offerings and the money maintained separately from PTA funds.
  • Gifts to Schools – Gifts to the school that benefit the largest number of students possible. Be sure to check with the school district before purchasing any materials for the school. Gifts should be in the form of a donation, presented and accepted by the school board at a school board meeting, and recorded in the school board minutes. Always use a fiduciary agreement.
  • Good Standing – The term applies to units, councils and districts that have met all requirements specified in the bylaws, which includes remittance of insurance premiums and membership per capita to California State PTA by the established due dates.
  • Grants – A specific set of dollars given by businesses, foundations, and corporations to an organization to perform specific functions. Projects for which PTA is seeking grants must promote the Purposes of the PTA and be relevant to the goals of PTA.
  • Gross Receipts – The total amount of receipts before any deductions are taken or expenses are paid. For the purpose of completing the IRS Form 990, monies forwarded through channels to the California State PTA office are not considered gross receipts. This includes membership per capita, Founders Day freewill offerings, and insurance premiums.
  • Hold Harmless Agreement – An agreement in which the signing party assumes responsibility for all acts and all liability for any injuries that occur related to an event. PTA MUST NOT SIGN A HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT. California State PTA insurance does not cover vendors, concessionaires, or service providers; these entities must provide Evidence of Insurance to each PTA unless annual Evidence of Insurance has been filed with the California State PTA Insurance Broker. A Hold Harmless Agreement may be found in the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide.
  • Membership Per Capita – The amount of money that must be forwarded through channels for each membership received in the unit in order to be considered a unit in good standing by California State PTA.
  • Minutes – The permanent legal record of all action taken by the association and the executive board. All financial reports become a part of the minutes.
  • Noncommercial Policy – A policy requiring that the name PTA, a registered service mark, or the names of PTA officers shall not be used in conjunction with the commercial activities of other organizations including, but not limited to, the promotion of their goods and services.
  • Ratification – The approval by the membership of an action taken by the PTA executive board as specified in Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, Article VIII, Section 2c.
  • Reconciliation of Funds – The process of bringing into agreement the bank balance as shown on the bank statement, the checkbook ledger, and the check register. The purpose is to ensure that the bank records and the association’s financial records are correct, to identify outstanding checks, and to determine the actual balance against which future checks may be drawn.
  • Reimbursement of Expenses – Allowable out-of-pocket officers’ expenses shown as a line item on the budget adopted by the association are reimbursable. Reimbursement is made upon the submission of an expense statement and/or receipts.
  • Sales Tax – A tax imposed on the purchase of products. Units are considered consumers by the California State Board of Equalization and they are not required to charge sales tax on merchandise sold. Units do pay sales tax on the price of merchandise purchased for resale or use.
  • Scrip – A coupon which may be redeemed in lieu of using cash at the store that issued the scrip. Scrip is purchased, usually from grocery stores, in large amounts for a discount off the face value. The PTA sells the scrip at the full value, raising funds for the unit. Many companies now offer electronic e-scrip.
  • Scholarships – Funds to assist students in furthering their educational objectives. The scholarship program, including the amount and number of scholarships to be awarded, must be approved by the membership.
  • Sponsorship – Financial support received from a business. The law permits a PTA to receive corporate sponsorship income tax free, if the sponsorship is linked to a specific event and the event is held once per year. The PTA gives the corporate sponsor an acknowledgment of thanks in return for the sponsorship.
  • Unallocated Reserve Funds – The amount remaining after making allocations for budgeted programs and activities, and may be used to cover any unexpected or unplanned expenses in the current fiscal year. The association must adopt a budget amendment to transfer funds from Unallocated Reserves to a specific budget category prior to disbursing funds.



Each PTA must maintain a checking account in the name of the association. Use the PTA permanent address, usually the school. Use checks imprinted with the legal name and address of the association, two lines for the two authorized signatures, and the statements, “Void if not cashed within 90 days,” and, “Two signatures required.” Bank statements should be mailed to the legal address of the association. In most cases, this is a school or school district office; it is never the home address of an officer.

At least three elected officers, two of whom must be the president and the treasurer, shall be approved to sign checks and have their signatures on file at the bank. The authorized check signers must not be related by blood or marriage or reside in the same household. Refer to PTA bylaws for authorized check signers.

A student may be a signatory on a PTA/PTSA account, as long as he/she is an elected officer of the association, it has been noted in the minutes of the association, and it complies with bank regulations. Contact the bank with questions about this issue.

Do not sign blank checks. Do not pay bills with cash or ATM cards.

Most banks do not verify a second signature received on PTA checks. A PTA can:

  • vote to change to a bank that does enforce the multi-signature requirement for all PTA/PTSA checks.
  • continue banking at the same bank and continue to use two signatures on the checks as outlined in the bylaws and monitor this through semiannual audits and monthly review of the bank statement.

All money must be deposited in accounts at a bank approved by the executive board. The association Employer Identification Number (EIN) must be on all accounts. The EIN number can be found in the bylaws. Contact the council, district PTA or California State PTA for assistance if the PTA’s EIN cannot be located.

Any bank card issued to the association must be restricted to deposits only. The ATM card cannot be used for cash withdrawals or other purchases. The executive board must verify that the cards, if issued, are “deposit only” and should control access to the cards issued.

The IRS considers all funds in PTA accounts to belong to the association regardless of source. A PTA may handle only those funds over which it has full control, and the total amount must be declared as gross income to the PTA. All funds in the PTA account must have association approval for disbursement.

Sample Agenda and Meeting Planner

PTA logo



(Date of Meeting)
(Meeting Location/Time)

I. Call to Order (on time, quorum met)
The president stands, raps the gavel once and calls the meeting to order.

“The meeting will please come to order.”

The president will review the meeting’s ground rules.

II. Opening Ceremonies
Pledge of Allegiance (if held in public facility).

“___________ will lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Will you please rise?”
“Thank you, ____________.”
Optional: Inspirational message, song, other.
“___________will present an inspirational song.”

III. Reading and Approval of Minutes – Action Items
The secretary addresses the chairman and reads the minutes.
(Or with the approval of the group, the minutes may be posted, distributed in advance or assigned to a committee of three or more for approval or correction, especially for the last association meeting.)

“The secretary will read the minutes of the __(date) meeting.”
OR “The minutes are posted at the entrance/were distributed at the door.”

“Are there any corrections?” (Note corrections.)

“The minutes stand approved as read/printed,”
OR “The minutes stand approved as corrected.”

IV. Financial Report. (Treasurer’s Report)
No motion is needed for adoption of the reports.

“___________ will present the Treasurer’s Report.”
“you have heard the report. Are there any questions?”
“The report will be filed for the audit.”

V. Audit Report (semi-annual) (Audit Report, Auditor’s Report) – Action Items
A motion is needed for adoption of this report.

“It has been moved and seconded that the audit report be adopted” Vote.
(Follow the steps of a motion, Parliamentary Procedure)

VI. Presentation of Bills
Since the approval of the budget does not authorize the expenditure of funds, bills must be presented, and their payment voted upon. Bills should be itemized as to amount, whom to pay, and what payment covers. Any association bills authorized and paid by the executive board must be ratified and recorded in the association minutes. Ratified bills should be itemized as to amount, who was paid, and what the payment covers (Payment Authorization/Request for Reimbursement).

“The treasurer (or the person assigned) will read the bills.”
“It has been moved and seconded that we pay the bills. Is there discussion?” Vote.
“It has been moved and seconded that we ratify payment of bills since last meeting” Vote. (Check Request System: Payment Authorization/Request for Reimbursement)
“It has been moved to authorize the Executive board to pay necessary Summer bills up to the budgeted amounts.” Vote.
(Check Request System: Payment Authorization/Request for Reimbursement)
(Follow the steps of a motion, Parliamentary Procedures)

VII. Reading of Communications
Communications are read by the (corresponding) secretary and may be acted upon as read, if action is required.

“The (corresponding) secretary will read the communications.”

VIII. Report of the Executive Board – Action Items
At association meetings a summary report (not the minutes) is read for the information of the members. Recommendations should be voted on one at a time, the secretary moving the adoption of each one.

“The secretary will present the report of the executive board.”
“You have heard the recommendations such as a motion to approve proposed programs (Preliminary Planning);”
to approve the budget (Approving the Budget; Budget Sample).”
to approve fundraising activities (Standards for PTA Fundraising).”
for the president and one additional elected officer to sign the following contract…” (Contracts).
(Follow the steps of a motion, Parliamentary Procedure)
A second is not required when a motion comes from a committee/board. Vote.

IX. Reports of Committees (Officers and chairmen, including the principal, faculty representatives, and student representatives on the secondary level) Bylaw Committee, Library Committee – Action Item, Convention Committee, Fundraising Committee – Action Item President calls for the report of the committee. The person making the report moves the adoption of any recommendations.

“__________ will present the report of the ___________committee.”
“Are there any questions regarding the report?”
“If not, the report will be filed,” or “You have heard the recommendation such as a             motion to release funds up to the budgeted amount for programs through the next             meeting (Preliminary Planning):”
(Follow the steps of a motion. Parliamentary Procedure.) Vote(s).

X. Unfinished Business
The president presents each item of unfinished business as indicated in the minutes. He/she should not ask “Is there any unfinished business?”

“The first item of unfinished business is _________.”
Report of school district acceptance of donated funds, goods, or materials.

XI. New Business
A motion is necessary before discussion and vote on any new business. All proposed business to be considered at the meeting must have been properly noticed to be acted upon. (See bylaws.)

“The first item of new business is ________.”

XII. Program (optional)
The president introduces the chairman to present the program.

“_________ will present the program.”
“Madame/Mister President, this concludes the program.”

XIII. Announcements
Date of the next meeting and important activities should be announced. If there is a social time following the meeting, this should be announced.

“The next meeting will be __________.”
“Please join us for refreshments.”

XIV. Adjournment    
No motion is necessary to adjourn. President raps the gavel once.

“The meeting is adjourned.”

This agenda is a guide only, adaptable to meet unit’s needs. The agenda should be made in triplicate. Give copies to the (recording) secretary and to the parliamentarian. Distribute or post for the membership, the proposed budget and proposed annual programs with the agenda.

A newly-elected president may want to write everything out in detail. Check off each item as it is completed and nothing will be forgotten. The presiding officer stands while conducting business and sits (unless unable to be seen by the audience) while others are participating.

California State PTA Legislation Policies and Procedures

Adopted May 2017

Policies are presented to convention delegates for adoption in odd-numbered years.
Procedures are adopted by California State PTA Board of Managers.
Policies are italicized; procedures are not italicized.

A legislative measure is considered to include bills (state and federal), legislative ballot measures (statutory, constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the legislature), proposed statewide initiative petitions, and initiatives that have qualified for the statewide ballot.

Policy 1

California State PTA is responsible for taking action on state and federal legislative measures, and proposed or qualified statewide ballot measures.

Until the California State PTA Board of Managers has taken a position on a state issue or specifically declines to take a position, support or opposition should not be expressed in the name of PTA.

A legislation action committee is authorized to act on behalf of the State Board of Managers when taking positions on legislative bills. Such action must conform to established PTA positions and must be reported immediately to the California State PTA Board of Managers. The legislation action committee shall include, but not be limited to, the president, president-elect, director of legislation, legislation advocates, two district PTA presidents, the chairman, and one other member of each commission on community concerns, education, health, family engagement, and others as appointed by the president.

The Legislation Action Committee is also authorized to take action on statewide ballot measures when there will be no meeting of the State Board of Managers between the date the measure qualifies for the ballot and the date of the election. Action taken on ballot measures by this committee is subject to concurrence by the Board of Directors.

In order to maintain a strong united position, contacts to legislators in the name of PTA shall be made by persons authorized by the State Board of Managers or by unit, council and district PTAs and their members.

Policy 2

Legislative measures selected for action by California State PTA must be of statewide significance, fit within both the Purposes of the PTA and the legislation platform adopted by the convention delegates, as well as other relevant PTA authorities.

A measure is considered to be a proposed bill in the Legislature, a proposed statewide initiative petition, or a proposition that has qualified for the statewide ballot.

In selecting measures for action, the California State PTA Board of Managers shall consider:

  • Studies made by the California State PTA Board of Managers and by units, councils and district PTAs, with supporting information;
  • Position statements adopted by the California State PTA Board of Managers;
  • Membership opinion as reported by the district PTA presidents;
  • Resolutions adopted by the delegates at annual State conventions;
  • Information from authoritative and professional sources;
  • Historical positions on bills with the same subject matter or intent; and
  • National PTA positions consistent with current California State PTA positions.

Policy 3

Any position on legislative measures adopted by California State PTA remains in effect, unless, after subsequent review, new action is deemed warranted, and is adopted according to California State PTA procedures.

When action on state or federal legislation is required between meetings of the legislation action committee, or when a bill has been amended to the extent that an existing position needs to be changed, such action may taken by an interim committee. This committee consists of the president, president-elect, director of legislation, and appropriate subject matter vice president and the advocate who will manage the bill.

When these situations occur, the advocate managing the bill shall contact the subject matter commission vice president. If he or she concurs that an immediate decision is warranted, and the director of legislation agrees, an interim committee meeting shall be called.

Any such action(s) must be ratified at the next regular meeting of the legislation action committee.

Policy 4

All positions on legislative measures taken by California State PTA shall be posted on the association’s website in a timely manner.

When positions are adopted on state legislative bills by the legislation action committee:

  • The positions shall be made available via an electronic information alert to all subscribers, including the district PTA presidents and other members of the Board of Managers.
  • Positions on legislative bills shall be maintained and displayed on the California State PTA website.

When positions are adopted on state ballot measures:

  • The rationale for California State PTA Board of Managers’ action shall be prepared by the California State PTA Board of Managers, posted on the website and distributed to unit, council and district PTAs for distribution to their members;

Policy 5

A unit, council, or district PTA with an interest in a proposed or qualified statewide ballot measure, which pertains to the welfare of children and youth, must determine whether California State PTA is studying or has taken action, before considering any action locally. Action may be taken locally by following PTA’s standard procedure for making a study.

The issue or ballot measure must fit within the Purposes of PTA and the California State PTA legislation platform, adhere to PTA policies, and affect the well-being of children and youth.

Before a unit, council or district PTA takes a position on a statewide measure, a study, including information from all sides of the issue, shall be conducted. Authorities to take a position (as described in Policy 2) must be documented in the study.

Before taking action, the unit, council or district PTA must take a vote at an association meeting and record the results in the minutes. Adopted positions on statewide ballot measures must be communicated to California State PTA.

When no action is planned and information only is being presented to membership, both sides of the issue must be provided.

Policy 6

Any California State PTA action on legislative measures represents the official position of the organization and shall not be interpreted as representing the personal opinion or conviction of every individual PTA member.

Policy 7

Unit, council and district PTAs are encouraged to promote adopted California State PTA positions on legislative measures and may be requested to actively support them which does not require a local vote affirming the state position. While unit, council and district PTAs are not required to work actively for any position, they should not officially oppose a stand taken by California State PTA. Disagreement with a position on legislative measures should be communicated to California State PTA through regular channels, with a report of the extent of – and reasons for – the disagreement, including supporting PTA authorities.

Unit, council, district PTAs, or executive boards need not vote to affirm a California State PTA position in order to support the position.

When reporting a position of California State PTA, a unit, council or district PTA may also inform the membership of opposing views.

If a unit, council or district PTA desires to express disapproval of an adopted California State PTA Board position on legislation to the California State PTA Board of Managers, a study of both sides of the issue should be made by the disagreeing group, and results of the study (with supporting material) should be forwarded to the California State PTA Board of Managers.

A current or former PTA officer/board member must not use his/her title, the name of the PTA or the trademark of PTA to take action in opposition to the official PTA position.

Policy 8

Any unit, council or district PTA may request that California State PTA consider taking action on a legislative measure.

Proposals shall indicate the source of the recommendation.

Approved proposals from units and councils first shall be forwarded to the district PTA.

Each proposal should be accompanied by background information and the reasons for the recommendation.

Policy 9

A district, council or unit PTA may wish to take action on a state legislative measure that affects only its local or regional area. The district PTA affected must inform California State PTA before taking a position.

The measure must have serious implications for children and youth within that local or regional area.

The measure must fit within the Purposes of PTA and the legislation platform.

After a position has been taken, the district PTA shall report that action to the director of legislation.

Any advocacy of the district PTA’s position is the responsibility of the district PTA and must be preceded or accompanied by a statement making it clear that the district PTA spokesman represents a PTA area, and is not speaking for California State PTA.

The district PTAs concerned must accept complete responsibility for communicating their positions on legislation, their actions, and the results to their membership in a timely manner.

Before taking a position on any measure, the district PTA must take a vote of the district PTA at an association meeting.

Policy 10

Unit, council and district PTAs may take action on local issues originating in school districts, cities, regions, or counties, if such action fits within both the Purposes of PTA and legislation platform, adopted by convention delegates, is supported by PTA authorities, adheres to PTA policies, and affects the well-being of children and youth.

The proposed issue shall be carefully studied in order to determine the need for it and to understand its provisions and probable results.

A unit should consult the council, a council should consult the district PTA for advice and coordination of efforts and the district PTA president should be informed of any projected study by a unit or council.

All of the PTA units within a council affected by the issue must be informed and a majority of the units within the council must vote in agreement on the proposed action. This can be accomplished by a vote of a quorum of the authorized unit voting delegates and council board members.

All of the councils and out-of-council units within a district PTA affected by the issue must be informed, and a majority of the councils within the district PTA must vote in agreement on the proposed action.

Policy 11

Informational (non-advocacy) material on PTA positions related to legislative issues, including local or statewide ballot measures, may be sent home with students, in compliance with local school district policies and procedures*

*State law requires school districts to adopt policies regarding sending material home with students.

Only informational materials on legislative issues may be distributed via the students. Informational materials must provide “a fair and impartial presentation of relevant facts to aid the electorate in reaching an informed judgment regarding the bond issue or ballot measure.” (See California Education Code, Section 7054 (b)(2).) Note that a statement of California State PTA’s position on an issue is, in itself, informational.

Advocacy materials provide biased information about the issues and often tell the voter how to vote on a specific issue. This information must never be sent home with students, and PTAs must find alternative methods of distribution.

If there is a question regarding whether legislative material constitutes advocacy or is informational, consult the district PTA president or the appropriate school district personnel.

The school district designated administrator must authorize in writing the distribution of all legislative material considered to be informational before it can be sent home with students or electronically posted on a school website.

It is also important to comply with local school district policies on sending materials home with students.

It is in the best interest of a PTA unit to maintain a file of all legislative materials distributed via students. The file should include a copy of every piece of legislation material with the appropriate written authorization for distribution.

Mismanagement of Funds/Embezzlement

Mismanagement of funds refers to the potential loss or misuse of PTA funds and raises questions about the integrity of the individual(s) in charge of the PTA funds. PTA funds are protected by following correct financial procedures. Each member of the PTA executive board has a fiduciary responsibility (required by the IRS of all nonprofits) to safeguard the association’s assets and potentially clear the individuals who may be involved.

There are several signs of possible mismanagement: lack of receipts and/or treasurer’s reports; payments made in cash rather than by check; missed meetings by financial officers; and unanswered phone calls or mail. However, these are merely signs, not proof of wrongdoing, so be discreet. Do not make any implicit, explicit, oral or written statements or accusations. Such actions could result in a lawsuit for libel or slander.

Notify the district PTA president or California State PTA vice president for leadership services and/or state treasurer. With guidance from one or more of these PTA leaders review the information, and determine the appropriate course of action. Specific PTA procedures are outlined in the California State PTA Advanced Leadership Tools, which is available to council and district PTAs.

Possible mismanagement/embezzlement of PTA funds is a PTA responsibility and therefore, PTA policies and procedures must be followed. The principal or other school district personnel shall not determine or take any other course of action for the PTA.

Do not make a direct accusation. Do not accept any offer of direct repayment from an individual, unless payment of the full audited amount is to be made with cash, certified check or money order. It is important to report the loss to the district PTA and insurance broker right away.

Embezzlement, the stealing of money entrusted into one’s care by means of fraud for one’s own use, is considered to be the same as theft under the law. Theft in any form is a violation of the law and should be handled as a serious offense. If money is stolen from an individual’s car or property, a police report should be filed immediately and contact made with the individual’s insurance company to determine coverage.

Officer Responsibilities for Filing

Although the responsibility of filing lies with the treasurer, whether or not a tax form is received, it is the executive board’s responsibility to ensure that all forms are filed by the due date. The auditor shall verify on the Audit Report Form that all required tax forms have been filed.

Pursuant to IRS Form 990 rules, every board member is responsible to complete the Conflict of Interest/Whistleblower Annual Questionnaire. The treasurer will retain the signed Conflict of Interest Form with other permanent documents. These may be stored on a flash drive with other permanent documents. These may be stored on a flash drive with other permanent documents.

Be sure the treasurer is not overwhelmed and understands the complexities of completing the required forms. A good bookkeeper is not necessarily comfortable with completing tax forms.

Consider hiring an outside professional well-versed in nonprofit tax requirements to complete the PTA tax forms. Tax filings are complex even for many professionals. No volunteer should feel stressed doing them or embarrassed not to do them. The objective is to have them done properly and on time.

Always keep a copy of signed tax forms for the PTA’s records and note the date that the forms were mailed.

When a PTA is disbanded, IRS regulations require that a final Form 990 and an explanatory statement be filed by the 15th day of the fifth month after the change in status. The district PTA is responsible for filing.

Do not forget to sign, date and mail the tax return. Tax forms may be signed by any elected officer.

Audit Report

Prepare an Audit Report, including recommendations, for each bank account or savings account. The form should list the account bank, branch address and account number. The report is presented as follows:

  • Unless mismanagement is uncovered, the audit and recommendations are presented to the treasurer and president.
  • The report(s) and recommendations are then presented to, and the report adopted by, the executive board.
  • The report(s) is then presented to the association for adoption. After the audit report is adopted by the association, the report(s), checklist and recommendations are forwarded to the council/district in accordance with the bylaws.

When called upon, at the association meeting read only the statement “I/The auditing committee has/have examined the records of the treasurer (and financial secretary) of _____ PTA and find them

  • to be correct,
  • to be substantially correct with recommendations, or
  • to be partially correct but more adequate accounting procedures are needed so that a more thorough audit report can be given, or
  • to be incorrect.”

The auditor, or in the case of an audit committee, each committee member, must sign the report. If there were recommendations, the president should state that the treasurer and executive board is or will be addressing the issues. The audit report is adopted by the association with the motion, “I move that the audit report be adopted.”

Audit Reports must be forwarded to the next level PTA. (See Bylaws, Duties of Officers, Auditor.)

Whenever questions are raised by the membership, the president should appoint a committee to look into the concerns and report back to the association at the next meeting.

Audit Procedure and Recommendations

The Audit Checklist should be used, and each box marked in the negative should result in an audit recommendation. Audit each account separately. Check off items in red ink as they are reviewed. Do not correct errors. Ask the responsible financial officer to correct errors. After errors have been corrected, and the auditor is satisfied that the financial accounts are correct, the auditor needs to denote the ending date of the audit. If a manual ledger and check register exists, draw a double line across the ledger and checkbook register where the audit concludes and sign and date using red ink, “Audited by (name) on (date).” If a computerized accounting program is used, attach a copy of the cash account and the last page of the check register to the audit report filed with the secretary minutes, sign and date using red ink, “Audited by (name) on (date).”

The auditor ensures that the association’s financial transactions have been accurately recorded

  • Include bank name, bank address, type of account and the account number on each report.
  • Start audit with records posted after the last audit. Verify the amount shown on the first bank statement (adjusted for outstanding checks and deposits per the prior audit) corresponds to the starting balance recorded in the checkbook register, ledger, and treasurer report, and the ending balance of the last audit.
  • Confirm bank statement was reviewed by another non-check signer if the auditor had not been assigned that task.
  • Verify there have been no ATM transactions.
  • Make sure every check issued for the audit period is substantiated with an authorization for payment, the reason and budget line item for the disbursement, appropriate payee and a receipt or bill. Each authorization should be signed by the president and the secretary. If the check has cleared the bank verify that there are two signatures and that both were from authorized check signers. Verify authorization/ratification in the minutes. Note: Checks issued for pass-through funds do not require pre-authorization but should be ratified.
  • Check that all bank charges and interest earned are recorded in the checkbook register, ledger and treasurer reports.
  • Trace each deposit slip to bank statement and checkbook entries. Verify deposits are properly supported and that a Cash Verification Form (Forms, Chapter 9) or equivalent was used for each deposit. Verify that at least one of the signers of the form was an officer or committee chairman. Ensure money was deposited promptly.
  • Ensure collection process is in place for returned checks that includes reimbursement of applicable bank charges. A returned check is treated as reverse income and reimbursed bank charges are treated as reverse expenses. Verify returned checks have been properly reported.
  • Verify deposits and checks have been properly recorded in the treasurer’s reports.
  • Verify the deposits and checks have been properly posted to the ledger and check register. Note: Request computer reports that show all the various accounts affected by the transaction.
  • Verify that all income and expenditures are allocated into budgeted categories.
  • Make certain that council, district, State and National PTA portions of the membership dues have been kept separate from other receipts.
  • Make certain that the number of memberships agrees with membership chairman’s report, and verify that membership monies collected correspond to membership monies forwarded.
  • Ensure payment for insurance premiums.
  • Make certain the money collected for a specific purpose (special projects, Founders Day, scholarship funds, council dues, etc.) has been so disbursed.
  • Check event reports to verify receipts and expenditures have been properly reflected in the financial records.
  • If an advance has been given, verify that receipts and/reimbursements have been received and properly recorded. If money was returned, verify it has been redeposited into the PTA account.
  • Compare figures on monthly treasurer and financial reports against ledger for accuracy.
  • Ensure proper tax returns have been filed.
  • Verify that the PTA-required Workers’ Compensation Annual Payroll Report form has been filed through PTA channels.
  • Verify that all required state and federal report forms have been filed if PTA hires employee(s) or independent contractor(s).

For more information about PTA audit procedures, refer to Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, Article VI, Section 8

The auditor should feel free to contact the treasurer if there are questions or issues needing clarification. If an error in recording a transaction is found, the auditor needs to recommend the entry be corrected. Any corrections made as a result of the audit need to be listed on the next treasurer’s report.

The auditor should not be punitive in the report/recommendations. Difference of opinion as to process should not result in a recommendation if the treasurer’s records are correct.

Some examples of recommendations are:

  • Cash must be counted by two PTA members and each must sign the Cash Verification Form. On xxxx, xxxx, xxxx, and xxxxx there was only one signature.
  • Authorization for expenditure must be voted on by the executive board or association before checks are issued. Check numbers xxx, xxx, xxx were issued before authorizations were approved.
  • Authorization forms must be signed by the secretary and president for check numbers xxxx, xxx and xxxx.
  • Check numbers xxx, xxx and xxx were issued more than six months ago. They should be voided, and investigated and reissued if necessary.

If assistance is needed, contact the council or district PTA. At any time during the process, California State PTA also may be contacted for information and assistance.

Audit Schedule

All unit, council and district PTAs must conduct audits semiannually or upon resignation of the treasurer, financial secretary, any check signer, or at any time deemed necessary by the executive board.

At the beginning of the year, the treasurer should organize the association financial documents in a manner which can easily be audited. The auditor should meet with the financial officers and explain what is required to conduct an audit.