Question: Changing from PTA to PTO - presentation to members

The current Executive Board of Directors is ready to present to the General Membership our desire to change to PTO. My question is: How do I make a presentaion that will make our GM want to change. All the information that we have gathered thus far is very favorable to PTO. Could some one please let me know if there are certain tpoics that I need to touch on more that others. I appreciate any help that ou can give us.

Asked by Normette



Advice from PTO Today

Rockne writes:
Hey Normette - Good question to ask. I think you'll find that your general membership is not nearly as into this discussion as your leadership is. Most average parents at school just want there to be a good parent group helping out their school, and don't want to be worried too much about the behind-the-scenes details. The facts that I find often surpise parents are: 1. Most parent groups in the U.S. are independent groups (commonly called PTOs) and not PTAs. The PTA acronym is often used as a catch-all in the media or on TV, but most groups are not formally PTAs. When parents hear that fact, they realize what you're proposing is not radical but rather normal. 2. You'll also want to tell your parents how much of their dues money individually and how much of your group's dues money (in total) goes outside the group to county, state and national PTA. Most parents have no idea that any of their dollars are going there. Finally, I think it's key to let parents know that every "safeguard" of being a PTA can be had as a PTO -- good bylaws, insurance, audits, non-profit status. If those are important to your membership, then point out that literally thousands and thousands of PTOs have all those things and are working great. You'll also find some hand-outs in the PTO v PTA section of this site. Good luck! Tim

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