Professional Governance Standards

The bylaws and standing rules for each PTA provide a framework for the organization. In order to operate effectively using this framework, PTA executive boards and individual board members will benefit from adherence to professional standards of governance.

Professional governance standards specify principles involved in governing responsibly and effectively and were developed to support PTA boards in their efforts to enhance their membership’s and the community’s understanding about the responsibilities of the PTA board.

The Individual Board Member

A PTA board member is a person elected or appointed to serve on a PTA executive board. Individual board members bring unique skills, values and beliefs to the PTA board and in order to function effectively, individual board members must work together for the association.

To be effective, an individual board member

  • Recognizes and respects differences of perspective and style among the individual board members;
  • Acts with dignity and understands the implications of demeanor and behavior;
  • Honors the confidentiality of board discussions;
  • Is open to new ideas and suggestions;
  • Is familiar with the bylaws in respect to the individual position as well as the organization as a whole;
  • Understands that authority rests with the board as a whole and not with individuals;
  • Understands that the basis for all authority rests with the membership;
  • Participates in opportunities for training;
  • Commits the time and energy necessary to be an informed and effective leader;
  • Assists those with less experience;
  • Understands the distinctions between PTA and the school staff and refrains from performing functions that are the responsibility of the school district;
  • Values, supports and advocates for public education;
  • Represents the PTA only when authorized to do so.

The PTA Executive Board

The members of the PTA executive board work together as a governance team which assumes collective responsibility for building unity and creating a positive climate during term of office.

To operate effectively, the executive board

  • Develops a unity of purpose by involving parents/guardians, students, staff and community;
  • Communicates a common vision;
  • Operates with trust and integrity;
  • Remains responsive to input from the school community;
  • Governs in a professional manner, treating everyone with civility and respect;
  • Fulfills requirements set within bylaws and standing rules;
  • Takes collective responsibility for the board’s performance;
  • Proposes for adoption by the membership a fiscally responsible budget based on the organization’s vision and goals;
  • Monitors the fiscal health of the association regularly;
  • Ensures that safe and appropriate activities are provided to implement the goals;
  • Provides community leadership on issues that affect children and youth;
  • Works collaboratively with other groups and agencies that share the same concerns on issues that affect children and youth;
  • Encourages individual board members to attend available training opportunities;
  • Serves as a communication link between the home, school and community;
  • Evaluates the activities and direction of the board on a regular basis.

Procedures for Adoption of Professional Governance Standards

The California State PTA has adopted the Professional Governance Standards and encourages all unit, council, and district PTA executive boards to review and adopt the standards at the beginning of their term as an integral part of their team building and orientation process; however adoption of the standards can take place at any time. The Toolkit includes the brochure entitled Professional Governance Standards, which includes a form that a PTA may complete upon adoption by a vote of the PTA board.

The PTA shall submit the form in the brochure to the California State PTA office after adoption and include the total number of board members and the expiration date of their term.

Upon receipt of the form completed and signed by the president, a certificate will be mailed to the PTA president by the California State PTA office. A letter of acknowledgement will be mailed to the PTA administrator.

Wallet cards for the number of board members noted on the form will be enclosed with the letter to the PTA president. The wallet card serves as an acknowledgement and reminder of the PTA board’s and individual board member’s commitment to adhere to the Professional Governance Standards.

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