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General Questions

Advocacy Questions

Financial Questions

Caution--some of this information is very specific to the State of Alaska and to Alaska PTA.

Parliamentary Procedure and Bylaws

Nominating Committee


What is the National PTA?

The National Congress of Parents and Teachers -- the National Parent-Teacher Association -- is the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the United States. An organization of parents, teachers, students, and other citizens active in their schools and communities, the PTA is a leader in reminding our nation of its obligations to children. Nearly 7 million people belong to this nonprofit, noncommercial, nonsectarian, and nonpartisan organization.

The National PTA advocates before decision makers for children's rights to better health, education, and well-being, working closely with other national education and health agencies and organizations. It provides current information and offers programs, guidance, publications, and training to state and local PTA groups in developing family-centered programs and encouraging parental involvement in all areas of a child's life.

For over 90 years, PTA has been leading the way in improving the lives of America's children and youths. Parent education is a primary part of PTA's philosophy and aids in the association's quest to protect and encourage all children. PTA draws on the experience and input of its membership and cooperating groups and shares what it has learned through its programs, publications, and services.


What is Alaska PTA?

Alaska PTA, with a current membership of approximately (to be updated) is a branch of the National PTA. It is organized into (to be updated) geographic districts, (to be updated)councils, and more than (to be updated) local campus level PTAs. It is governed by a (to be updated)member board of directors, with state headquarters at (to be updated)

The local PTA is a self-governing unit that plans its programs and activities to meet the needs of children and youth in the community. It is at the local level where the programs of service for children and youths are put into action. All other PTA structure--councils, districts, and states--are designed to promote and strengthen the work of the local unit PTA.


A comparison between PTA and PTO

PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is a state and national affiliated organization dedicated to advocacy for all children. It has as resources other PTA units, state and national organizations, a voice in state and national legislation, and a network capability with seven million child advocates. PTA's work is based on the concept that many groups with similar goals working for children are much more effective and benefit more children than just a single organization working for the children on one campus.

PTA dues are decided by the membership of the local unit with (to be updated) of the dues dedicated to Alaska PTA and (to be updated) to the National PTA. All other monies are used as the local unit desires and decides.

PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) is a campus level advocacy group that deals primarily with issues arising from its school. There is no affiliation with other PTOs, and there are no state or national resources. Decisions and actions made by a PTO generally affect only the children of its affiliated school.

PTO dues are determined by the local unit. Since PTOs are independent of any state or national organization, all monies are kept in that unit.


In order to be a member of a PTA, must I have children at that school?

No. Anyone who subscribes to the basic policies and Objects of PTA is eligible for membership. Student members must be in the 9th grade or above.


Can a PTA support or oppose a ballot issue (for example, a school bond)?

Yes. a PTA, by a vote of its general membership, can actively support or oppose ballot issues (not candidates) which are consistent with PTA's purpose -- to work for the health, welfare, safety, education, care and protection of children and youth in the home, school, community and place of worship. It is well within the purpose and mission of PTA to become involved in school district bond issues.


Can PTA support a candidate for school board (or other elected office)?

No. This is an absolute prohibition by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS states that a PTA may not intervene or participate, either directly or indirectly, in any campaign for any candidate for public office. To maintain its tax-exempt status, PTAs must be very aware of this rule.


Can a PTA sponsor a candidates forum?

Yes. The IRS rules allow information nights where all the candidates for a particular office are invited to speak to the public, or the membership, about their qualifications for election to the office. It is essential that all candidates be invited in order to avoid even the appearance of partisanship or discrimination.


Can a PTA officer run for an elected office, such as school board member or city councilman?

Yes. It is important for that person to separate the roles (PTA officer from candidate; candidate from PTA officer) and wear only one hat at a time. A candidate should not use his or her PTA affiliation to further the campaign.


When is an audit required?

An audit is required at the end of each fiscal year or any time authorized check signers change.


When does the new treasurer take over the books?

According to "Suggested Bylaws for Local Units," Article VII: Officers and Their Election, *Section to be updated: "Officers shall assume their official duties following the close of the school year and shall serve a term of to be updatedyear or until their successors are elected." However, procedure books and materials must be given to newly-elected officers no later than 15 days after they assume their duties.


When PTA raises funds at school, it is often easier to place the money in the school safe until the treasurer can deposit them into the bank. Is this OK?

No. The school safe belongs to the school district. When PTA places its funds in the school safe, it has given up care, custody and control of its funds. Always deposit PTA funds into the PTA's bank account as quickly as possible; use the "night deposit" or "after-hours" box at the bank if necessary..


The PTA's bank does not check to see if two signatures are on a check. Why does PTA have that requirement?

Even though a bank may not check, this is an important organizational safeguard. This requires that at least two PTA officers or board members agree on an expenditure. If only one person signs a check, the members can hold that person accountable for an unauthorized withdrawal or expenditure of funds.


When do I have to file an IRS Form 990(EZ)?

If your annual gross receipts average $25,000 or more (3 year average), you are required to file a Form 990(EZ) within 4-1/2 months after the end of your fiscal year.


Can we have a fund-raiser to raise money for a student who needs an operation?

No. Funds cannot be raised through the PTA for an individual, no matter how worthy the cause.

If we make no profit on our school supplies, do we have to collect and pay Alaska sales tax?

Yes, profit is not a factor in determining what items you must collect Alaska sales tax on.


How much money can we carry over to next year?

There is no established maximum amount. It will vary, from PTA to PTA based upon when each holds its fund-raisers. IF you have no fund-raiser until spring, you will need to carry over more than if your major fund-raisers are in the early fall. However, a PTA should not raise more funds than is necessary to carry out its tax-exempt function.


Can the president vote?

The president may vote on a pending question when the vote would change the outcome; that is, to make or break a tie. The president may vote in all cases where the voting is by ballot, but may vote only once.


How and when do we use ballot voting?

A ballot can be a slip of paper on which a choice is written, or it can be prepared in advance and handed out at the appropriate time. A ballot vote can be specified in the bylaws or it can be used when it it felt that a secret vote will give a more accurate indication of the assembly's will.


If the president really wants the PTA to approve something, can he/she speak on its behalf?

Yes, but the president must step down from presiding at a general meeting and let the vice president or aide conduct the meeting until the matter is resolved. At a more informal meeting such as the executive board, the president should wait until everybody else has given an opinion and then he/she may give an opinion.


A quorum was not present at a general meeting and we voted on officers, was that a legal election?

No. Any business (including elections) to be conducted at a general meeting without a quorum must be postponed until the next general meeting or until a special meeting is called in accordance with the local unit bylaws.


What is the duty of the Nominating Committee?

The Nominating Committee should identify, recruit and nominate the best qualified candidate for each elected position. To do this, the committee members must be committed to PTA; be willing to invest time into making it the best possible organization; and, be capable of holding frank, honest, candid discussions about the potential nominees knowing that all conversations are confidential.


How may I get on the Nominating Committee?

Ask someone to nominate you. You must be elected to the committee. According to "Suggested Bylaws for Local Units," Article to be updated: Officers and Their Election, Section to be updated, Nominating Committee, the committee is elected at a regular meeting at least one month prior to the election of officers.


If I'm on the Nominating Committee, may I be considered for an office?

Yes. You may have your name put forth for a position. You should leave the room, though, while the committee considers your qualifications.


What if the Nominating Committee can't fill all the positions?

If the Nominating Committee can't fill a position, then nominations for that position are taken from the floor at the election meeting. If the election meeting doesn't fill the position, then the executive board must fill the vacancy. Refer to "Suggested Bylaws for Local Units," Article to be updated: Officers and Their Election, to be updated-Vacancies.


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