For information and guidance on updating your bylaws, please email OCCPTA Parliamentarian – Carol Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Purpose of Bylaws
Each PTA/PTSA unit is actually a California non-profit, officially known as a 501(c)(3). As such, each unit is responsible for keeping up to date and accurate bylaws so as to comply with California Corporate Code. Bylaws are actually a legal document. A copy of Bylaws for the Local PTA/PTSA Units and California State PTA Bylaws 8.1, 327 should be provided to all officers and board members. Each board member is responsible for understanding the bylaws. A copy of the bylaws should be made available to any member of the association upon request.
Your PTA bylaws should be reviewed each year (it’s a great way to orient your board to their responsibilities) and must be updated on a current version and sent through channels for State PTA’s approval every three years (or sooner if you want to make any changes). Plan now by establishing a bylaw review committee. Bilingual bylaws (with Spanish in one column and English in the other) are also available.
Bylaws should be reviewed every year. Appoint a small committee with the parliamentarian as chairman to study them, make recommendations, and forward through channels to the California State PTA parliamentarian. Give 30 days’ written notice of proposed amendments to association members after receiving approval for amendments from the California State PTA parliamentarian. Recognize that a two-thirds (2/3rd) vote is required to amend the bylaws.
Whenever members are required or permitted to take any action at a meeting, a written notice of the meeting shall be given, not less than 10 days nor more than 90 days before the date of the meeting, to each member, who on the recorded date for the notice of the meeting, is entitled to vote at such meeting (see Unit, Council and District PTA Bylaws).
Standing rule outlines the procedures of the organization that are not included in the bylaws and must not conflict with the bylaws. Some examples of the differences are:
- Bylaws state when the meetings of the association and executive board are held.
- Standing Rules tell where and what time these meetings are held.
- Bylaws give the primary responsibilities of officers and chairmen.
- Standing Rules give the specifics.
If the Bylaws state that the first vice president is responsible for the program, the Standing Rules would list the various chairmen, who work with the vice president under the first vice presidents title, such as program, Founders Day, Honorary Service Award, hospitality, refreshments, and program booklet.
If the organization has supplies and/or equipment, the Standing Rules would state who is responsible for them and where they would be kept.
Standing Rules might also list:
- Who has the responsibility for securing the outgoing president’s pin and its inscription.
- If there is to be an installation of officers, who is responsible for selecting the installing officers and when the installation should take place.
In short, Bylaws are hard and fast rules that may be amended only with prior notice to the membership.
Standing rules are the details of monthly PTA work that may be changed from administration to administration or from meeting to meeting. They require a two-thirds (2/3rd) majority vote without notice and a majority vote with 30 days notice to adopt or amend.
To begin the bylaw review process, access the following link: Instructions for Completion
- Request your password from by clicking “eBylaws” on the CA State PTA home page or follow the following link, http://www.capta.org/sections/management/e-bylaws.cfm, then click “request a password.”
- You will be requested to create a user name. This is not your personal user name and password, but your unit’s. You may want to consider a user name that makes sense for your unit.
- Make sure you record your unit’s eBylaws user name and password, record them in your standing rules for future reference!
- You’ll receive two emails: 1) user name / password and 2) instructions
- Then you can return to CA State PTA’s bylaws page, http://www.capta.org/sections/management/e-bylaws.cfm, and click “Build e-Bylaws”
- You’ll be taken through a series of screens in which you’ll enter information needed to build your bylaws. You can save along the way without completing at one sitting.
- Once complete, you save a copy of the eBylaws as a PDF to your computer and print them. Be green and print them double sided.
Submit through channels. Submit your unit’s updated bylaws to either the council (or district) parliamentarian along with your standing rules document and the cover sheet. The cover sheet is provided below.
Most units can update their bylaws on-line, even those whose units vary from the standard bylaws. eBylaws can be printed DOUBLE SIDED and then modifications made.
All About Bylaws. Remember to check your bylaws and follow the guidelines to update them.
Bylaws review process – Learn how to update your bylaws.
ICUnit_Bylaws_2013_Fillable – Fillable English bylaws.
ICUnit_Bylaws_ES_2013_Fillable – Fillable Bilingual (English/Spanish) Bylaws
OCCPTABylaws-Transmittal-Sheet-2013-2014 – Must be included when making changes/amendments to your bylaws.
Nominating Committee – Feel free to download the documents below and customize according to your bylaws.
The Nominating Committee
The purpose of the nominating committee is to recognize and seek qualified nominees for the elected leadership of your PTA. The members of the committee have a tremendous influence on the future of your PTA and they should be selected carefully, for their nominees will be guiding the activities of the organization and supporting the students and families at your school for at least the next year.
The bylaws state that the nominating committee is elected by the membership at an association meeting at least two months prior to the annual election meeting. Your bylaws also specify how many members and alternates are elected and who is eligible to serve on the committee. Remember that your membership should receive notice of the slate of officers 30 days before your election. Your elections should take place before the end of May.
The Nominating Committee members have the responsibility of bringing the names to the membership of those they consider to be the most qualified to lead the next year’s PTA. Committee members must be PTA members who understand and support the basic policies and purposes of PTA. They must also be fair, objective, trustworthy people who are committed to keeping their discussions confidential. Hopefully they also are involved to an extent that they know a good representation of people in your school community who will make good candidates.
Serving on a nominating committee is an honor and a privilege. This committee is your PTA’s most influential internal body and should be taken very seriously. The decisions of every nominating committee influence the future functioning of every PTA. Formal Nominating Report (CAPTA – PDF)
The nominating committee is obligated to seek out those eligible members who would best serve in a particular office. Every effort should be made to provide a slate that is balanced in terms of new as well as experienced officers. The slate should also reflect the diversity of your school community. The committee is not required to nominate the president or any current officer to serve a second term or to automatically nominate the first vice president for president.
Every president (and others on the board as well) should make it part of his or her duty to be on the lookout for potential PTA leaders. If new people can be identified early, they should be sent to convention for training. If you didn’t budget for convention this year (and it is an expected and appropriate use of PTA funds), ask them to consider volunteering at convention or applying for one of Orange Community Council PTAs grants to attend convention.
In considering which members are the best qualified to serve in officer positions, the nominating committee should consider and evaluate the following criteria.
- Must be a PTA member.
- Must be enthusiastic and supportive of PTA
- Must believe in the basic policies and purposes of the PTA
- Must be fair and objective and concerned for the best interests of PTA
- Should have experience in PTA, although other organizational work may be considered.
- Should have knowledge of the organization and its role in the school and in the community.
- Should be wiling to give PTA a satisfactory level of priority and commitment, including attendance at meetings.
- Should be able to work well with people.
It is absolutely unacceptable for any nominees for the offices of president, treasurer, financial secretary and auditor to be related by blood or marriage or to reside in the same household. Also, no officer shall be eligible for the same office for more than two consecutive terms or hold more than one elected office.
Remember that PTA bylaws stipulate that one may only hold a position for two consecutive terms, and no longer. It is harder to find new leaders when some officers keep positions year after year. Although it is wonderful that people are willing to make such a commitment, the result is a complacent community that believes there is no need for them to step forward because ” ___ will do it”.
Click here to read some common PTA rules and procedures.
01_Dosand_Donts The do and do not that every member of the nominating committee must abide by.
02_NominatingCommittee You’ve been elected to the nominating committee, what’s next?
NominatingCommitteeChecklist – Step-by-step guide to help your nominating committee achieve its goals.
NominatingCommitteeRprt Template to be used for all PTAs when their nominating committee will present their slate of officers.
Election of officers must be held at an association meeting. A quorum must be present. Consult your bylaws for the number of members that must be present at your election meeting.
One of the common problems we have encountered with PTA units that do not hold elections before the school year ends is that they start the new school year at a real disadvantage. When a board is not in place until October or November, the school year begins without a PTA fall membership drive. Everyone scrambles to meet deadlines, develop budgets, decide if fundraisers are necessary and what they will be, etc. Additionally since no contact information for the officers is submitted in the spring, the mailings from both Peralta and State PTA are delayed and opportunities for training are missed.
For more information on nominations and elections, please access: www.capta.org/sections/management/nominations.cfm
Script for Holding PTA Elections: 04_Script_for_Conducting_Elections