6 Things You Should Know About Your PTO’s Bylaws
Whether you have them. If you can’t find a copy, you need to create them.
Where they are. Just saying you have bylaws isn’t enough; you need to get your hands on the actual document.
The content. Read and understand them. If they don’t make sense to the way your PTO actually operates, it’s time for a revision.
The format. If you only have a hard copy, type them up so you can share and revise them electronically.
Their age and the last time they were revised. Look at the end of the document for a revision schedule. If there isn’t one, add the first entry when you type up the document.
Revision rules. If your bylaws need revising, follow the procedure spelled out in the document itself. If there are no revision rules, follow Robert’s Rules.
4 Primary Reasons To Have Bylaws
Consistency. Rules and policies that have been documented in the form of bylaws can be applied consistently so that emotion and personalities do not get involved.
Efficiency. Your bylaws include procedures for decisionmaking so that your PTO can conduct all its business according to the rules and as efficiently as possible.
Protection. Strong bylaws help protect the group from internal conflict, financial risk, and “mission creep.”
Legitimacy. A strong set of bylaws is a sign that the PTO takes itself seriously. Bylaws give the members assurance of the mission, structure, and policies of the group. Besides, the IRS requires bylaws if your PTO files for 501(c)(3) status.
Believe you will find assistance from the National Association of Parliamentarians.org helpful. Members of this organization study parliamentary procedures -- how to preside, write bylaws, responsibilities of officers and the chair of each committee, standing and special committees, etc. etc.
There has been much discussion about this and I can't get a copy of the bylaws.
We are a special education parent advisory and have agreed to work with another to bring awareness against domestic violence in our community and schools.
The board has passed this, apart from 2 members-majority rules. So is there any reason why we couldn't do this if the money raised was split?
I'm sure we all have the same motivation and thats the children every time so thanks for the site and all of the information right at our fingertips.
1- Do bylaws need to be approved at the beginning of each year?
2-Should the bylaws be signed at the end? And who should sign them? Ours are not so what's the next step if they need to be?
Thanks so much in advance!
Beyond that, though, this is a leadership issue. Check out our Leadership page: http://www.ptotoday.com/leadership It has several articles that may help, starting with Dealing With Disagreements http://www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/184-dealing-with-disagreements and How To Deal With Difficult People http://www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/409-how-to-deal-with-difficult-people
You might also post your question on the message boards http://www.ptotoday.com/boards/ There are lots of experienced folks on the boards who can offer advice. They'll want a little more detail, though. For instance, was this a one-time issue? Was the whole thing purposely set up behind your back, or could it have been a misunderstanding by an inexperienced treasurer? etc.
Good luck! -- Craig
1) we have two school groups working under the same corporate heading, neither of which ever approved the bylaws, so are the bylaws binding?
2) if one of the directors chooses to use the bylaws to remove another director without cause, does that immediately mean that all the bylaws must be adhered to?
3) in MA, do PTOs that are 501(c)(3) need to meet under Open Meeting law?
4) if a director is removed, how does that effect that person's position as a chair within the school group?
In general, co-presidents can work, but there are challenges -- the main one being how do you make a decision when the co-presidents disagree?One option is to have president and president-elect as positions instead of co-presidents. That way there's a clear delineation of power.
You could also post this on the message board and see what other PTO leaders say.
I am the treasurer on our PTO at least till elections next week. We (a few who are out numbered) are having difficulty with the state of our present Bylaws. First, they go against the California codes for non-profits. When we tried to bring this up the President , Principal & the writer of the current Bylaws pretty much said too bad. The only rights they say our members (which they say are supporters not members to justify their twisted agenda) have is to vote at the end of year... The Bylaws only give the board power & non to the members. I have read many other school Bylaws and they say members have the right to vote at all general meetings plus the elections. I am at a crossroads. They wonder why no one wants to volunteer and that is because they have made this a Kingdom not a Parent Teacher Organization. My last fear is that they will try to mess with the elections somehow and then what? What can I do?
I think this page will be a help for you:
Typically, general meetings are public, but board meetings and committee meetings are private. Some states have broad open meeting rules, called "sunshine laws." If your group is organized as separate from the school, they probably don't apply to you. But if you're organized as an extension of a public school, they probably do. Check with the Secretary of State's office to find out what the rules are in your state.
I ahve been involved with my city's PTO's for over 10 years. Now, I have never encountered this issue.. But htere is always a frist. We have an individual who is not a parent (used to be), is not a faculty/staff member of the school, and has no known link to our PTO but chooses to come tot he meetings, stir up all kinds of questions and trouble. What can we do as a group to keep him out of our meetings. I guess my question is, are PTO meetings open to the general public or just the members? In our bylaws it states "This organization shall be limited to paretns and guardiasn of ______ students, staff members, and administrators of _______ School. Can we use this to say he is not allowed to come in to the meeting?
ANY comments, ideas, words of wisdom, etc. are needed and will be appreciated!
A concerned and frustrated parent
Read the article How To Deal With Difficult People for some tips on how to confront her based on her personality: