Question: Board Appointment

We have a charter school that has been established for over 5 years. This year the school director chose to appoint the President of the Parent Organization, who then selected the Secretary and Treasurer. The Parent Organizaton has not established bylaws. Can the board of the Parent Organization be appointed? I thought the parents were supposed to be given a chance to elect the officers representing their organization. The parent organization runs under the schools 501C3.

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
If the parent group is an independent organization, the principal can't just appoint a president -- the president must be elected by the members in accordance with the bylaws. Your group's situation is different, however. The group is functioning as a committee of the school, and the principal essentially has unlimited power to make the group function as he sees fit. Whether he should do this or not is another story. I think parent groups that are given the independence to choose their own leaders and set their own agenda (in a spirit of cooperation with the administration) are the most effective in building parent involvement and getting things done for the school. When a principal tries to micromanage the parent group, that always seems to lead to a sharp decline in involvement. An important step forward for your group would be to get an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS. It's a simple process that takes only a few minutes, and it's the first step toward becoming independent. After that, incorporating and filing for 501c3 would establish your group as a businesslike and independent organization working toward bettering your school.

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