Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Running Your PTA

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Bylaws & Standing Rules

Bylaws are designed to help the group function in an orderly manner.

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.

Reviewing Bylaws

Per the California State PTA bylaws must now be revised and submitted to them, through channels, every three years instead of every two years. However, PTAs must still review their bylaws and standing rules every year. In addition, if changes are made (for instance, dues are increased or the number of officers is changed), those changes must be made in the bylaws and the bylaws must be submitted through channels.

Bylaws are the legal document governing each PTA unit. They should be reviewed yearly and updated to the newest form every three (3) years. By following these simple steps, the review process is easy:

  • The unit or council president appoints the bylaws review committee, chaired by the Parliamentarian.
  • Using a copy of your current bylaws, review them to see if any changes need to be made (meeting dates, dues amounts, officers and their duties, etc.)
  • Obtain the latest edition of the unit or council bylaws from the California State PTA Office or from the District PTA Office. Use the instructions for completing the standard bylaws found on page ii.
  • Send the proposed bylaws to the council Parliamentarian for review.
  • The council Parliamentarian will then forward the bylaws to the district Parliamentarian who will review them and forward them to the California State PTA Parliamentarian for approval and official signature.
  • Upon return of your approved bylaws, schedule a vote to adopt the new bylaws and place it on the association meeting agenda at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.
  • After adoption by the association by a 2/3 vote, the master copy is signed by the secretary and copies are made for each officer’s procedure book.

If you need a copy of your current bylaws, your council parliamentarian should be able to assist you.

Bylaws Submission

Your PTA should be periodically (minimally every 2 years) reviewing and updating bylaws, and submitting them for approval. PLEASE ATTACH THIS FORM TO EACH SET OF BYLAWS SUBMITTED FOR APPROVAL

In Council Units - to your Council Parliamentarian.
Council Parliamentarian and Out of Council Units  - to Kathie Haley, Parliamentarian, Thirty-Third District PTA

Find more information and details when you download the bylaws cover sheet

Email the Thirty-Third District Parliamentarian here

To obtain your PTA’s Charitable Trust Number

Apply for a charitable trust number using form CT-1 with the California Attorney General. See checklists and a sample form at under QUICK LINK / “Tax/Reporting Require-ments” / “Registry of Charitable Trust.”


Thirty-Third District PTA, 5629 Pearce Avenue, Lakewood, CA 90712
Mailing Address: Thirty-Third District PTA, PO Box 1235, Lakewood, CA 90714
Phone: 562-804-4519