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Illinois PTA to PTO article _ and rules

13 years 6 months ago #154813 by Kristy Lambrakis
Replied by Kristy Lambrakis on topic Re:Illinois PTA to PTO article _ and rules
Tim, I want to thank you for your article. It should be made easy for you to switch from PTA to PTO. You really only need to follow your bylaws. As long as you do that you shouldn't have any problems. For some reason the PTA feels they should be able to keep you hostage and they can't. To all of those people out there that want to switch, do your research first, have a team of people to help (a few) that are dedicated to helpling and go for it. Always keep in mind the key goal is the children in the long run. The best interest of them. Not any of the back and forth with PTA. Tim has been a great help and really knows his stuff. Just follow your bylaws as we did and everything will be ok. It really isn't that hard. It just seems like it in the beginning. As I would tell everyone - Don't Panic!!! It will be ok!!

Thank you!!!
13 years 6 months ago #154796 by Lillian Stomp
Replied by Lillian Stomp on topic Re:Illinois PTA to PTO article _ and rules
Tim, thank you for clearing up PTAs comments within this article. As a Lemont resident and current Lemont PTO member, I was so disappointed to see our organization still being attacked. This has been a difficult process. We were told that PTA would make it difficult to transition over to PTO, but I never thought it would get so ugly, and last for so long.

We have established ourselves as Lemont PTO as of August 16th of 2010 and yet the backlash has not subsided.

We greatly value your support and are thankful that someone is in our corner guiding us through this transition.

Looking forward to many productive years with Lemont PTO, helping our kids and our community.

Best regards,
Lillian Stomp
13 years 6 months ago - 13 years 6 months ago #154726 by Rockne
I thought this article would be interesting for any current or future users contemplating the switch from PTA to PTO or vice versa.

Sounds to me like the leaders of this group did a great, fair, confident job and did basically just what we recommend groups do. A short list:

1. They had an open discussion among members and administration, etc. and got a general consensus on how the group wanted to proceed. Had parents or leaders or admins not wanted to move -- that's the time to stop it. Sounds like these parents clearly wanted to make the switch.

(Note: once they decided to make the switch, the rest is bureaucracy. The PTA recommended process -- basically, go through a whole bunch of officious rigmarole *before* getting a feel for which way membership wants to go -- is decidely unwise. Way better to do most of the discussion and research before starting an official process. If membership not interested, then save all that officious work.)

2. They sent out the notifications as broadly as they could.

3. They had a meeting, a discussion, and a vote.

Two of the claims made by state PTA in the article are ludicrous: the first (that bylaws require 2/3rd of entire membership to vote for dissolution) is laughable, especially compared to how all local and state and national PTAs do all of their business. Most all PTAs try and get as many formall members (pay the $5) as they can, but then they do their business with whever shows up at meetings (usually less than 1/10th of the membership). National PTA makes its very largest decisions with 500 voters out of 5 million members. The concept is called "quorom" (a minimum number of members in attendance for business to be conducted), and it absolutely has to apply for PTAs to work at all.

The second claim -- that the old membership has to make the decision in the new year -- is also fairly comical in a school setting. So the parents who's kids moved on, the parents who moved out of town... they're expected to come back in October to vote on the future of their *old* school? C'mon.

The quote in the article says: "We don’t want to hold PTAs hostage...", but if that's true then shouldn't the process be more like: 1) PTA does research and show clear, clear preference for going independent; 2) state PTA helps them make a smooth change to minimize any disruption/distraction in the good work the group is going to do for the kids of that school?

The goal is to help kids and make schools great.

Sorry -- off soapbox now.


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