Question: Switch from PTA to PTO

Our PTA has been working on the switch to PTO for a couple of months. We recently sent out our letters announcing the date of our meeting to vote on disbandment. Our State PTA replied that they had changed their bylaws last November and now require 75% of membership (not including Executive Board) to be present at this meeting, State PTA representative to be allowed to speak for a minimum of 1 hour, with a 1 hour question and answer afterward. The new bylaws also stipulate that all PTA funds be frozen while dissolution is being pursued. My question is: Is it possible just to resign from the PTA and form a new PTO. We already have the ein number and a new bank account. Is it possible to just abandon the PTA without officially dissolving it?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Rockne writes:
Hi Anon - Which state? Those clauses are completely ridiculous and -- I'd guess, though I'm not a lawyer -- completely unenforcebale. The 75% thing especially is a joke. As is the freezing the bank account thing. Ask the state what % of its membership is required in attendance for state bylaw changes. (Bet it's less than 5%) I wrote about this recently in regards to some supposed Illinois changes: Short answer: yes, it's absolutely possible to just let your PTA go dark without all that rigmarole. With the kind of clauses and ridiculousness you describe above, it's the way to go (if your membership wants to make a change). It's your school, your group. You're not hostages. Almost so ridiculous as to be humorous.

Community Advice

Virginia writes:
Thanks for your reply Rockne. Our PTA is in Virginia. One of the other state by-law changes that I didn't mention was that we have to submit a complete list of our membership with their contact information to the state PTA 30 days before the scheduled meeting. I liked your suggestion of just letting things go dark. I can't imagine getting 75% of our membership together for a 2-3 hour meeting when it's enough of a struggle to get 5% together for a 1 hour meeting.

Advice from PTO Today

Rockne writes:
Exactly. Quorum is a basic feature of virtually all Robert's Rules orgs of any size. Certainly is of your state PTA and the national PTA. Taking that out is intended for only one reason -- intimidation. The rules in some states that state that all members must be notified 30 days in advance (using traditional, common-sense notification means) and that 75% of members present (assuming a quorum) must agree -- those seem reasonable for such a fundamental decision. But these? Complete nonsense.

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