Question: Revising bylaws: Just the board, or all parents and school administration?

Who needs to be present to revise our bylaws? Just PTO officers and directors or teachers, parents, and the principal?

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Advice from PTO Today

Elly writes:

If your parent group is a nonprofit and you’re doing work directly related to the group’s charitable mission—helping the children and the school, for example—then any money you make isn’t taxed. That’s true no matter how much money you make and no matter whether you raise that money on campus or off.

However, the only way to be sure that your group is truly nonprofit is to register with the IRS as a tax-exempt charity under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. Applying takes time and a certain amount of work. But it’s worth the effort, and PTO Today’s Start-Up Toolkit will walk you through the process. You also should check with your state tax office about obtaining an exemption from sales tax for items you sell.

Community Advice

badpants writes:
Our parent group has revised by-laws several times over the years. Sometimes it is suggested by a parent and sometimes by a board member. Either way, our first step is provide a copy of the current clause and a copy of the suggested revision at a meeting, to all in attendance. The issue would be open for discussion. The next thing would be to state that the revision will be voted on a the next meeting. The same copies would also be sent home with all students on the day following the meeting, along with a letter explaining the revision and that it will be voted on at the next meeting. At the next meeting, we would vote as a group. Our parent group only allows parents a vote, not teachers, principals or any other staff. We would do a written vote, whic would be counted and tallied that night.

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