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Local unit threated by State PTA over PTO plans

13 years 1 month ago #156848 by megangrout

This thread was about the PTA in Georgia. Not sure what state you are in, but be aware that state PTA bylaws are unique to each state. What you stated may be true in your state, but that is not the case is Georgia.

Our state and local unit bylaws were read and re-read not just by our board but by 2 different lawyers well before this process was started. Nothing in the Georgia PTA bylaws (nor our local unit bylaws) addresses having a state representative present nor that dissolution is effective immediately. Our Georgia state PTA president even acknowledged at our meeting that the dissolution instructions were not contained in the bylaws, but rather kept as a private set of guidelines not made available without request. She also acknowledged that this was done so that it would not be easy for a local unit to dissolve and then become a PTO.

The National PTA president also called our lawyer in January to apologize for the way the Georgia PTA had handled our situation. He was very professional and even offered to come to a local meeting to apologize in person. We did not feel this was necessary for him to come to Atlanta but did pass along his message to our members. He has been the only bright spot in all our dealings with the PTA on dissolution since December.

Our problem is not with the PTA in general, but the manner in which the Georgia PTA has handled our intent to dissolve. Our board has maintained all along that the PTA may be a good fit for some schools but it just isn't at our school. In our area of Atlanta, many public schools are considering the switch from PTA to PTO because they simply do not use PTA programs, and do not feel they are getting good value for the membership dues they pay. If you believe the PTA is of value to your school, then that is great. But one size does not fit all, and we are simply doing what we feel is best for our school and our children.
13 years 1 month ago #156843 by Tammy Budd
I've read the thread here about PTA vs PTO and what has been happening with dissolving a PTA into a PTO. Our school is in the process of discussing changing from a PTA to a PTO. I honestly don't know why I like PTA, but that being said did you all not read your bylaws before trying to dissolve your PTA. The by-laws clearly state that 1) a representative from your state PTA office must be allowed to come and speak at your meeting before a vote; 2) all money must go to another PTA or non-profit deemed to be in the beliefs of PTA; 3) you CANNOT vote to dissolve effective a certain date. IT IS IMMEDIATELY!! You can no longer do anything under the name PTA once you vote to dissolve.

Please people read!!
13 years 2 months ago #156822 by megangrout
Congrats! That is a big step, and I am sure that makes you feel so much better. (I feel better hearing about it too!) On behalf of busy volunteer parents everywhere.... thanks for all you do! Best wishes and keep us posted!
13 years 2 months ago #156820 by almost ready
Replied by almost ready on topic Re:Local unit threated by State PTA over PTO plans
We did it!! only a few no votes. No one showed up from local or state PTA. Finished up everything we did for the PTA and moving forward with PTSO. I say that with ease now because I know the worst has yet to come. Thank you so much for the help on these boards.
13 years 2 months ago #156755 by almost ready
Replied by almost ready on topic Re:Local unit threated by State PTA over PTO plans
We have tried to not alert our local unit as to our plans, but from what you said they find out anyway. Our plans are to allow 10 minutes for discussion on the matter then vote. I feel like all I have done is research GA PTA and national PTA website and you are right they have little to no info about dissolving. Our bylaws are very vague as well. We are however following them to the best of our interpretation. Our school is only on it's 2nd year but feel if PTO is the direction we want to go then now is the time to do it.

The PTO Today website has been a great help so far, thank you for your encouragement. I will let you know the good the bad and the ugly at the end of the week.
13 years 2 months ago #156751 by megangrout
The checklist was emailed to us by the Georgia PTA president at 7AM on 12/1 -- the morning we initially planned to vote to dissolve (dissolution to be effective 6/30). No one in our local unit --neither my co-president nor I (and I have been in this position for almost 2 yrs now) nor any of our former local unit presidents-- had ever seen it or heard of it before. The fact that you don't know about it either just underscores it is something they don't want you to they can spring it on you then say you aren't following the (undisclosed) dissolution rules! I would suggest you search the Georgia PTA website for ANYTHING involving local unit dissolution. You'll see that you don't find anything. That speaks volumes to me. So....they expect you to call them to ask them about something that you don't even know exists in the first place? Then, once they find out your plans...they use that opportunity to make the process as difficult as they can for you? Crazy.

The GA PTA prez had learned of our dissolution plans well prior to this 12/1 date, but waited until the morning of the vote to email us this checklist. Her email also included a 3 page letter on why we couldn't and shouldn't do what we were doing. She also then showed up at our PTA meeting that day, with a council rep in tow, uninvited. It was all quite unbelievable. The majority of our parents are still shocked and outraged by the way it was handled by the Georgia PTA.

On a much brighter note, I do recommend that you use the resources on this website to help set up your PTO (if you haven't already done so). The sample bylaws and instructions for getting 501(c)(3) status were extremely helpful to us. We are very enthusiastic about getting this problem with the Georgia PTA behind us and entering a new era of "PTO" at our school.
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