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Topic History of: Voting, Board or All Members

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  • RPM
  • 's Avatar

Robert's Rules should be your best friend - 
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert%27s_Rules_of_Order

diphi.web.unc.edu/files/2012/02/MSG-ROBE...ULES_CHEAT_SHEET.pdf

Simple majority should suffice. 

Our PTO board has the ability to approve any change to the budget for less than $1000. Anything above that should go to general PTO vote. As mentioned above, the general Roberts Rule should apply. Simply get a motion to approve (can be raised by a board member even) and then all for/opposed. 

Good luck!

PTO board member for past 5 years

Congrats on having so many people wanting to be a part of their children's school by being active in the PTO.

At our school, we do not pay dues. Our Board has one Special Meeting in August to vote on the Annual Budget. We also go over Chairpeople for the different activities and committees.

Then we have monthly meetings with the general membership. We just rewrote our ByLaws to make this group have a vote. Our original ByLaws stipulated only Board members had a vote.

"Gee, if I never have a voice, do I really want to be involved?"

If you don't allow people a voice, then they aren't going to want to be involved. One of the biggest turn-offs here was when your child was in K and the President came to intro. herself & VP. She started right off by saying the VP was shadowing, so she would know what to do the following year. In my eyes, the PTO was a clique with decisions already made over a year in advance.

That being said, I would say that MEMBERSHIP, should be allowed to vote at meetings. What do you have defined as a member. Sounds like you could get into difficulty if you have to pay to be a member and not everyone whose coming has paid. Sorting out the "eligible" voters would be time consuming.

Not to mention, how do you get your Board? Our previous group would have a President appoint & then the Board was the only one with votes. See why it was a clique and as a parent you wouldn't feel like you could go and be a part.

As a result, they also had difficulties getting parents willing to volunteer to chair and help with activities. Now that we have changed and made the parents all Members with a voice, we're getting more and more parents coming and stepping up willing to do more than just show up and help at the event itself.

Best Wishes on however you decide. I hope you're able to keep everyone involved and going!

Practically speaking, I don't think you can have the entire membership vote on everything -- you would be there all night and meetings would get very, very boring.

It's like the difference between a democracy (where everyone votes) and a representative republic (like the US -- we vote for representatives who in turn vote on specific issues).

Choose the things that are most important for the membership at large to vote on and keep the day-to-day detail votes for the board, preferrably at a separate meeting.

All our members vote on three key things:

1. The budget
2. Allocations to schools
3. The slate of officers for the board

Board members hold executive board meetings separately from general meetings. At EB meetings we make the day-to-day decisions and we report back to the general members. If they don't like what we've done, they can (1) complain and ask for a change and (2) vote us out the next spring.

Frankly, it rarely happens that anyone cares about the little decisions -- they just want to volunteer at events and in the schools. If they care enough about the little decisions, then they seek to join the board.

What kinds of votes are you talking about? Most of the time, it's going to be a simple, Motion to Approve.............., followed by a second and then, all those is favor , all those opposed...... Even with two hundred hands it should be fairly easy to see if you have more "ayes" than "nays". Does that make sense? I agree that if you are talking about doing secret ballot votes for everything, that would be very time consuming.

Good Luck!

Wendy,
Not sure if I can help but here is what we do at our PTO meetings. Our board(the officers) does not vote, just the Parents, teachers, etc.. If you collect dues for your members (and it goes to the PTO) then you can encourage more to join and "earn" the right to vote by joining the PTO and paying their dues. Therefore a "member" has the right to vote. You could also do a majority instead of a specific count (could you not?) I will also tell you that we had about 100 people show up at our first meeting last year and after that the numbers went down significantly. Most meetings only have a handful of people at them, and we vote unless it is a big request, and too few people.
Just a side note, I am still fairly new to the PTO, have been on for 3 years, and am President this year, so am still learning myself. Hope my opinion gives you something to think about or at least pulls in more responses. Good luck to you.

  • WLC
  • WLC's Avatar

:D We have a brand new school and a brand new PTO. Our first meeting was held just the other night and over 200 parents and teachers attended. We are wondering how to handle votes. Some feel that having the PTO Board do all of the voting is ok, but many others feel strongly about being able to vote. Some have paid dues and are official PTO members, but not all. With the possability of all becoming members and the number of attendees always being this high, we could spend most of the night just counting votes. On the other hand, it does not seem right not to include all members in the decision making process. we are willing to make changes to the current Bi-Laws if needed. We want to do the right thing. How do we handle this issue? Can anyone help? :confused: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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