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Help in Changing from a PTA to a PTO

16 years 1 day ago #141347 by speechmom
Our school is considering the change and I've appreciated all the information I've found on this website. We're still trying to figure out exactly how to do things, but after looking at our PTA bylaws we're thinking it might be easier to get a PTO set up with its non-profit status and bank account and bylaws and then let our PTA "die out" rather than going through the red-tape of disbanding officially. If we do not have 15 members, 3 board members, and pay our insurance then PTA will pull our Charter. In our bylaws (we're in CA), it states that otherwise we would need to hold two meetings with a District representative present to "counsel and guide" us---in other words to try to talk us out of it. The vote would have to wait at least 60 days, and even then the State level PTA would have to approve our disbanding with a 2/3 majority. If your charter is pulled, the PTA assets (bank account, etc.) are taken over. But, if our PTA makes a large donation to the school prior to that time and does no further fundraising then there is nothing for them to seize. I guess I just have to hope we can get all our timing worked out to make it all happen smoothly.
16 years 2 weeks ago #140925 by An Illinois PTA
Replied by An Illinois PTA on topic RE: Help in Changing from a PTA to a PTO
I've been reading this thread and several others relating to dissolution of a PTA and the vote required to dissolve. In another thread Tim suggested that the requirement for a 2/3 vote probably refers to 2/3 of the members present, assuming there is a quorum. Illinois PTA bylaws (which local PTAs are required to include, verbatim, in their local bylaws) state that the vote to dissolve must be by 2/3 of the membership:

"d. Approval of dissolution of <name> PTA shall require the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the membership. The District Director or designated representative of the State Board of Managers shall be invited to this meeting." (Article XIII, Section 8).

Our membership is approximately 200 families, but an average meeting will have 30-40 members in attendance. With a total school population of about 275 families, it's hard to imagine that we could get approximately 130 members to attend any meeting.

Have other PTAs encountered this problem? Other possibilities might be proxy voting, for paper "absentee" ballots, neither of which are specifically addressed in the bylaws. Please advise!
16 years 2 months ago #139499 by Rockne

PTO Today Founder
16 years 2 months ago #139498 by An Illinois PTA
Replied by An Illinois PTA on topic RE: Help in Changing from a PTA to a PTO
Can you explain the differnce between a PTO and PTA?
16 years 3 months ago #139416 by Rockne

drdeb;139406 wrote: All I can tell you is follow your PTA bylaws if you are considering dissolution. You are required to have a PTA representative speak to your membership about the benefits of PTA vs. PTO.


That requirement is not universal, though state PTA officials are putting it in in more states each year. Check your bylaws.

That said, if it is in your bylaws -- do remember that the meeting is still yours (your president presides, you set the agenda and the time restraints, etc.). If the session is going great -- wonderful. But if you're not appreciating the input, tone or strategies of the stae folks in the lead-up to the meeting, you have every right to, for example, limit the time set for the presentation.

drdeb;139406 wrote: Your members have to vote on whether to remain a PTA or change to PTO. You mght be surprised at some of the programs, training and advocacy available through PTA that you didn't take advantage of.


Agreed DrDeb. I do think a big reason for so many groups making the change is that they don't take advantage of some combination of PTA offerings. And if they find about those offerings and then decide they'll use all those and it will then be worth the dues $$, then staying PTA makes sense. But the existence of the offerings alone -- if the group isn't taking advantage of them or if the offerings aren't a fit for the goals/challenges of the group isn't really relevant.

I do agree that local membership should have the final say on ending a PTA.

Tim


PTO Today Founder
16 years 3 months ago #139406 by drdeb
All I can tell you is follow your PTA bylaws if you are considering dissolution. You are required to have a PTA representative speak to your membership about the benefits of PTA vs. PTO. Your members have to vote on whether to remain a PTA or change to PTO. You mght be surprised at some of the programs, training and advocacy available through PTA that you didn't take advantage of. I know many people on these boards are very pro-PTO, usually based on the argument that you can keep all of the membership dues for your on school, but there are certainly two sides of the story.

Our PTA president decided to declare the group a PTO (just so she could have a third term in office, I am convinced) -- on her own, and without any announcement to or vote by members, and she has made a huge mess of the situation.

My only advice -- do everything according to the bylaws and with membership input. After all, it is the members' organization and they should be able to make the decisions based on all of the information!
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