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Local unit threated by State PTA over PTO plans

12 years 8 months ago #157972 by our school lover !
Replied by our school lover ! on topic Re:Local unit threated by State PTA over PTO plans
our school lover

Our school is be bullied by PTA, we are a small school , with do not many members for our PTA or PTO , we have very little parent support within our school for PTA /PTO ! Some of our school staff have agreed to taken offices so that we can have a PTA/PTO to rase money for supplies our school needs , for our teachers needs, like a copy machine for the teachers so that our students will have the coped work they need to do there class work, letters home ECT.. That would not be possible on the copy budget the county gives us, we also do fun things for our students so they can say ,I had some fun at school today the PTA/PTO had a treat for the whole school, in return we see smiles that in some of our students is grate to see them do, it helps to keep them wanting to come to school! And strive to do good things.. We are a title one school so every one of the pennies we earn go to our school ! We have done grate things in the past , play ground equipment, that we saved up for , 4 years to do, math programs to help get our math scores up, and so so much more!
Now the PTA is bulling us about changing from a PTA to a PTO we started the disavowment at the begging of our last school year, sending a intent letter to PTA, getting a new tax number . Voting to become a PTO , we no longer wonted to send our hard earned money out to PTA , we have never gotten anything from them , but bills!!!

Why is this allowed ? How can the President of our state PTA , bully us calling our PTO president at all times of the day and night ! How can the Treasurer or our state PTA come to our school and harass our treasure in front of PARENTS bulling her following her around while she was restarting students for school , being rude, talking about all kinds of things, that just are not to be said in front of parents , but in a closed meeting with all of our PTO officers! We have done nothing WRONG, if caring about helping our school is a crime , well we each our guilty!!
We will not stand for this, bulling by these people, bulling is a crime !
We are all now to the point of just letting out PTA/PTO die out , it is a shame that PTA can bully anyone, tell them they will freeze their account and constantly harass them!!
Anyone out there had this happen to them? I have read some school in Atlanta are having so of the same problems, What should me do? I hate to think our school will no longer have the income of PTO to help with supplies our school needs !!
12 years 9 months ago #157739 by almost there also
Replied by almost there also on topic Re:Local unit threated by State PTA over PTO plans
Thanks megangrout for your detailed summary. Glad things have worked out and you can begin a new year as a PTO. I believe we are going to let things go dormant. We have an EIN and need to file for 501(c)(3) status. We really appreciate your insite....
12 years 9 months ago #157736 by megangrout
I have been meaning to give an update on what happened with our school in Atlanta. As you all recall, we had originally planned to vote on Dec 1st to become a PTO at the end of the year (after serving out the rest of the year as a PTA) but the GA PTA President showed up at our meeting and threatened to seize our bank account of approx. $90,000 if we did so. So, we tabled the vote to wait until our new PTO had 501 (c) 3 status, later in the school year, because we didn't want to risk having the state PTA take the money our parents had donated to our school

Our baby PTO (with only a board of interim directors, bylaws, and no members yet) applied for 501(c)3 status in December after that meeting. At the time, our PTA was still up and running at our school as the sole parent volunteer group.

Our PTO received approval from the IRS our 501(c)3 status in just 30 days! So, we scheduled a vote on the issue of becoming a PTO for April - to be held at the same time as officer elections. We put together a written referendum explaining we would vote yay or nay on becoming a PTO, and explaining that if the vote was for a PTO, then we would elect PTO officers for next year instead of PTA, and basically let the current PTA go dormant. We never discussed actual "dissolution" of our local PTA unit because the Georgia PTA made that route so difficult and so ugly (and required unreasonable things from us that aren't contained in our bylaws.)

We took the vote in April as planned, and the proposal to become a PTO passed 158-6!** We were honestly surprised at how overwhelming the support was for severing ties with the PTA. (I think in large part, it was the Georgia PTA showing up at our December meeting uninvited, behaving unprofessionally, and leaving a bad taste in everyone's mouths that really helped our cause.)

**We included in our new PTO bylaws that all members of our local PTA unit would also be considered members of the PTO from April 1, 2011 to the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2011. This allowed all the 600 members of our PTA at our school the opportunity to vote for next year's PTO officers (instead of PTA officers) at the April vote and decide what to do with the money in both PTA and PTO accounts at the same time. Thus, all the decisions made during that April vote were binding on both our local PTA unit and our new PTO, and allowed everyone to be a part of the process if they wanted. It all went very smoothly. We never notified the Georgia PTA of our vote (b/c we were not voting to "dissolve" the PTA, nor do we have any official PTA bylaws in Georgia and they never showed up.

So, now we have a PTO that is up and running with 501(c)3 status, a budget, officers for next year, and a ton of support from our parents. Our local PTA unit technically still exists - at least until June 30th - but it is now much like an abandoned house. There are no new PTA officers for next year, no one will be becoming a PTA member next year, and the PTA bank account has only enough money in it to cover outstanding checks. And, once we reach June 30th, no one at our school is responsible for our PTA local unit anymore.

Our local unit PTA officers who will be officially done June 30th have agreed that they will certainly file the appropriate paperwork with the IRS regarding the now-dormant PTA unit finances and have things audited --as we would have done if we stayed a PTA. We will provide that information to the PTA when it is done. After that, there is nothing left for us to do with the PTA.

We don't feel the need to officially "notify" the PTA of anything. We have no doubt they are fully aware of what has occurred at our school since December (there were 3 parents who were very upset about our PTO plan who likely informed them). I also have no doubt that they monitor these PTO message boards. (being that this message board is how the National PTA president told us he became aware of the situation at our school, it stands to reason the GA PTA monitors them as well.)

We have been thrilled with the support our parents have given us on the move to become a PTO. We have also been surprised at the number of other schools (at all age levels) who have inquired with us about becoming a PTO as well, and have spoked to our officers about our experiences with the PTA.

As I come to the end of this process, I can see now why the trend is toward PTOs in the country. And, while it had not been a big trend in Atlanta (our school is one of the first in Fulton County to do it), it is obvious that the tide is starting to turn toward PTO here as well. PTO means independence, no dues paid to outer organizations that don't really provide any benefit to our school, and not being forced to support the GA PTA's political lobbying effort for some hot button issues that some of our parents may not agree with. (for example, GA PTA's position against the immigration reform bill in GA.). We didn't think politics belonged in our school regardless of what your political beliefs may be. It is unreasonable to us to require that a parent support particular lobbying causes (even if they don't agree with those causes) just so they can be a part of the parent volunteer group at their child's public school.

So, I hope this helps a little with the question as to whether to go dormant. I do think that is easiest. If your local PTA unit has no new officers, no new members, and no money - it's just an abandoned house. I think filing the appropriate paperwork (IRS, audit) for your local unit's past year is a good way to close up shop. But next year, you start out as a PTO!

I can't promise you won't get blowback from the Georgia PTA, but if your parents believe that is right for your school -- who cares what the Georgia PTA thinks?
12 years 9 months ago #157735 by almost there also
Replied by almost there also on topic Re:Local unit threated by State PTA over PTO plans
So, is the concensus just to let the PTA go dormant here in GA. Or should we send the dissolution letters to the local & state units???
We have 2/3rds vote and have just spent all of the money....
13 years 3 weeks ago #156858 by almost ready
Replied by almost ready on topic Re:Local unit threated by State PTA over PTO plans
Our PTA bylaws only stated that any money left in the PTA account would have to be donated to another PTA, we are going to donate our whole $70.00 to the middle school PTA. Our local president is picking up the books today. We opened up our checking acct. with the PTSO, spent all money except $70.00 took a vote. Followed all the procedures that were in our by laws to dissolve our unit. The first fundraiser as a PTSO was sent out the following Monday. The only thing the local PTA president asked was why she was not allowed to attend the meeting. Nothing against PTA but we as a school have not utilized the services. Parent envolvement is poor at best, hoping to change that as at PTSO. Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and looking forward to getting some great advice on this site.
13 years 3 weeks ago #156849 by Lisa @ PTO Today
Replied by Lisa @ PTO Today on topic Re:Local unit threated by State PTA over PTO plans
Almost Ready-
Congrats... Hope that the process continues to go smoothly!

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