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PTA vs PTO in Florida

13 years 2 months ago #156040 by liz
Replied by liz on topic Re:PTA vs PTO in Florida
to the first post, why did it take 3 tries, different schools to convince you to NOT try the PTA?
The PTO's have to follow guidelines but are more independant than the PTA's.
I have one at our school in Broward and LOVE IT. I go to every meeting.
13 years 10 months ago #153744 by woubie
Replied by woubie on topic Re:PTA vs PTO in Florida
Thanks for the feedback. :)
13 years 10 months ago #153648 by missyhaz
Replied by missyhaz on topic Re:PTA vs PTO in Florida
I also wanted to add a little info about Florida specifically; our PTO is in Florida however we have never been a PTA. Our school opened 3years ago and started a PTO.

Just so you know you will still get all those "invitations" to PTA events like you do now, we do, and we have even attended a few, of course they will try to sway you into being a PTA but for us we have never seen the benefit. We have incorporated and are in the process of applying for a 501(c)(3), and as far as we can tell we get far more support from this web site PTOToday, than we have ever seen anyone get from a PTA!!!

So weigh your options carefully, but be informed! Browse this web site and you will see that you can be "official" when you are a PTO and you can get all the support you need right here! Just my opinion.

Good Luck with whatever you decide!

Missy
13 years 10 months ago #153647 by Rockne
Replied by Rockne on topic Re:PTA vs PTO in Florida
Hi Woubie and Anonymous --

Sorry I missed this post a couple of weeks back. Typically, there aren't distinctions between going through this process in one state or another. We've heard from hundreds and hundreds of groups either contemplating the change or going through with it, and the experiences are 95% the same.

To anonymous -- your experience is telling. The question I think is fair for all groups to ask is: "Is our current format serving us well for our goals?" As well as: "Are we getting value for the $$ we're sending out in dues?"

(Note on that last question: it's not "what is available from our dues?"; rather it's "what are we using/getting at our group for our dues?" Similar to joining a health club. They're going to extol their beautiful pool and the extra-early morning hours and the Bikram Yoga they just added. But if you don't swim and hate mornings and don't stretch -- well, then those three things are no factor when you're deciding whether that club is a fit for you.)

From our experience, you'll get one of two reactions: 1) Mild disinterest (especially if the region you're in isn't all that active/organized); or 2) Scratchy, somewhat intimidating attempted intimidation. The second one is obviously the one that gives people pause.

The good news is that even if you face the second one, it really is hollow. Being armed with facts and is extremely effective. Facts like: roughly 75% of parent groups are independent (so you're not comtemplating something radical); the PTA can not take your $$ (bank accounts are in your name and you folks are only signers); and fact that you can be every bit as official and well-run and insured (if those things are important to you) as a PTO as you can be as a PTA.

Hope this helps a bit. Respond here anytime (not sure how I missed your first post) or feel free to call our offices (see contact us at bottom of page).

Tim
13 years 10 months ago #153646 by woubie
Replied by woubie on topic Re:PTA vs PTO in Florida
I would also be interested in hearing from someone who has actually made the transition in Florida. We're considering moving from PTA to PTO for most of the same reasons you mentioned. The logistics of switching seem fairly simple, but it would be good to know what the reaction of the county or state PTA was.
13 years 11 months ago #153447 by Anonymous
PTA vs PTO in Florida was created by Anonymous
We have been having the PTA vs PTO debate in the schools my children attend. I have been a PTA member for years but can't deny that I have been very disappointed in their lack of interaction with us.

At one school we just started up a PTA last year. The county PTA came in, helped us with the charter, collected the $3 a person that joined that day and that is about all we ever heard from them. No support, no follow-up with how we were doing.

At the other school one of my children attend, we haven't had the need for their assistance so have never heard from they. We get the usual invitations to events, but that's all.

At the school my middle child attends, we started the school year with pretty much no board. During the first week we managed to pull one together. We called our county branch and was assured that they'd be there to help us get organized. They attended one organization meeting, suggested we attend the training and that is about all. We have muddled through the year, and done a fairly good job considering we had no idea what we were doing. Where were they? Why didn't they follow-up with us. Why didn't they return calls? We feel abandoned and are even concerned about how they will react to us if we change. We have heard them make comments to others that they'd better not even mention PTO, as it was a dirty word. We are unsure if there would be a way for them to retaliate against us. Are we being paranoid, we don't know.

That leads to the fact that we are considering going from a PTA to a PTO. We have started looking into what we have to do, but would be interested in input from someone, preferably in FLorida, who has actually undergone the changeover.

Your time would be appreciated.
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