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Local unit threated by State PTA over PTO plans

13 years 5 months ago #155499 by Lisa @ PTO Today
Replied by Lisa @ PTO Today on topic Re:Local unit threated by State PTA over PTO plans
Thanks for reporting back. Glad to hear things are moving in a positive direction.

Here a some helpful resources for transitioning your group:

Look forward to the next update.


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13 years 5 months ago #155493 by megangrout
Thanks to you both for your insight. The good news is that the feedback from the meeting has been great. Those that were in support of the PTO are now fired up to get away from the PTA as soon as possible. Several other parents who said they were pretty apathetic about the change were so appalled by the State PTA's actions, that they are now strong supporters of moving to a PTO as well. We will keep on moving forward toward the goal of a new PTO and dissolving the PTA at the end of the year. We will keep you updated as things progress.
13 years 5 months ago #155477 by Rockne
Hi M. Grout -

Your post very carefully captured what I've observed and heard about the experience from 100s of groups over the past 10+ years. It never ceases to amaze me.

I dislike the drama and agita that state PTAs inject into this on so many levels, but most notably in the following two ways: 1) the amount of time and energy taken from the good work for the kids of the school (which both PTOs and PTAs do) is a shame; 2) the fact that really good-hearted, generous volunteers are made to feel so threatened and uncomfortable is unconscionable.

On the facts, I'm still far from sure that the state PTA president is even right in her claim that the state could have taken your $$ anyway. The state is not a signer on your bank account and has no legal status in your incorporation or the like. The state has a status in regards to your non-profit status, but non-profit law just requires that you distribute your money upon dissolution in accordance with nonprofit practices.

I've never seen a single state get a dime from a dissolving PTA (unless the dissolving PTA just gave it up), though that threat is made almost every time.

The reaon the threat is never followed out is that it is so simple to avoid the battle, and that's what most dissolving PTAs (like yours and as mum24 points out) wind up doing. While I don't think the state PTA can do what they threatened, it's even easier and more definite if the dissolving PTA just holds off on the official dissolution vote until all else in the dissolution process is done. You can do your research and present your findings and have an infomral polling of your members to decide if you want to proceed with dissolution. If yes, then you can start PTO preparations, start spending your $$ down, etc...... and then take the formal vote when all that is done.

I'm sorry you had that ugly meeting (what a colossal waste of time for busy people just trying to help their kids' school, eh?) but the good news that you're now more than all set for a great kick-off to an independent PTO next year. You have 8 months to get all that set up. That's way more time than many groups have, and even those groups do fine.

Would love to hear more about any follow-up. I believe these tellings help future groups successfully avoid this intimidation.


PTO Today Founder
13 years 5 months ago - 13 years 5 months ago #155476 by Rockne
Here's a direct link to the video clip. Add youtube before the dot come below (our boards disable video links):


PTO Today Founder
13 years 5 months ago #155475 by megangrout
Sorry.. won't let me post a link.
If you go to YouTube.
the video can be searched with this code xqgnJVZIzkc
It is about 16 seconds long.
"We aren't going to take your money unless you vote today to become something else. Once you dissolve as a PTA, we do have the right to make the decision."
13 years 5 months ago #155473 by mum24kids
Sadly, the State PTA President's treatment and comments you have relayed are quite similar to those experienced in another state fairly recently (and I'm not going to say which one). A large school (with a bank balance similar to yours) also was told their cash would be seized; the local unit got a lawyer to fire off a letter to the state, the state then said their threat was a "mistake," the dissolution vote proceeded at a slightly later date than originally scheduled with an overwhelmingly positive vote to dissolve. To be honest, that vote probably would have been closer if the original threat had not been issued, and if the state PTA had stayed away from the dissolution meeting.

At the dissolution meeting, a state PTA rep was given time to speak (it was not the President). She is one of the hardest working PTA volunteers I know, and has done a lot of great things for PTA in the area, and did a pretty good (and professional) job with her presentation. (Although they have this tendency around here to keep bringing up the fact that because of the PTA, we have hot lunches in schools now. Really? That's the biggest accomplishment you can come up with from the last 100 years? Getting us hot lunches that everyone is now saying make our kids fat?) However, the state president and some other reps stood in the back of the room making snarky comments, and then actually had the nerve to start yelling things out when they disagreed with some points the pro-PTO people were making during their presentation. Some people who had been on the fence, or who at least didn't think badly about the PTA generally, were just appalled.

End result? PTAs around them who have switched since then basically have decided that they don't need that kind of hassle. They spend down their money as they year goes on, finish up the year as a PTA, then just start a PTO for the new school year. No one joins the PTA in the new school year, so it just ceases to exist. That's sort of an oversimplification, but you get the idea.
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