Question: PTA to PTO, no renewal

We are a PTA and want to dismantal and become a PTO. Our PTA membership form is due July 1st. If we do not renew can we get out of being a PTA that way? Do we still need to hold a meeting and give 30 days notice to National PTA?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Rockne writes:
Hi anon -

You've identified an interesting twist in the process. Like the situation you're in, I've also made the observation before that not having a membership drive, not collecting any PTA membership dues and therefore not sending any dues into state and national PTA would also likely do the trick. Certainly, in that case, the state PTA would suspend your group's privileges and eventually declare you not a PTA basically.

If you're actively in the process of disbanding and your leadership and your membership is all or largely all on board with the change, I certainly wouldn't do anything new that ties you closer to the state PTA, while you're in that process. If your disbandment doesn't go through (your membership changes its mind, for example), you can always send the form in late or have your dues drive late. To be fair, I also wouldn't use/partake of state-PTA member-only resources during that time. I'd also aim to have the PTA treasury down to basically zero before going dark to make that piece uncomplicated, as well (no $$ to debate about).

If you basically "go dark", which is what you're contemplating, I believe that -- yes -- that will effectively end your PTA over time. But there are actually also likely state non-profit rules regarding closing a non-profit that you'll want to follow. That can happen, I believe, on the side next fall and generally is paperwork with the state's attorney general or secretary of state's office.

I'd be interested in other opinions, but as far as this non-lawyer can tell if you have no members, collect no dues and have no assets -- then the organization basically goes belly up. Some final paperwork with the state non-profit authorities would likely make that final.

One other thought: the prescribed process (that it sounds like you'd like to avoid) isn't as daunting as it seems either. Thousands of groups have gone through the prescribed process and made the change, as well.


Community Advice

MagnetMom writes:
When our school went through the same process we started the PTO up, and then started spending down our PTA funds. In our area, it was rumored (although no one had heard of specific cases) that the PTA could acquire funds that came during their tenure.

We did consult a nonprofit attorney and we took the time to follow the rules to the letter so that we didn't lose a penny of our kids' money.

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