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.
Procedures for Bylaw Review
To begin the bylaw review process, access the following links:
Tips for Getting Your Bylaws Approved
Review and know your bylaws – they make your job easier as president!
Provide a copy of your bylaws to your executive board.
Prior to or at the beginning of the school year, annually review your bylaws with your executive board.
Use your Standing Rules to better manage your PTA/PTSA and to pass on information to future boards. Simply create and maintain an additional Standing Rules document in Word using numbered bullet points beginning with the proceeding number from the last one listed on the last page of the bylaws. Add a footnote with the correct page number(s) and you’re all set!
Items to consider including in your Standing Rules:
- Special committees
- Who committee chair people should reach out/report to
- Items own by your PTA/PTSA and where they are stored
- Guidelines for Grad Nite if applicable
Standing Rules must be aligned with your bylaws!
Standing Rules need to be submitted with your bylaws when you submit them for CA State PTA approval.
Bylaws are to be updated and submitted for approval from CA State PTA every three years, but can be updated sooner if need be. Units due to update will be notified at first council meeting.
- 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.
They are the last pages of your bylaws. Standing Rules actually state how your association functions and cannot conflict with the body of the bylaws. Many units write what committees report to each Vice President and how much members of the association while on PTA business. To add or remove a standing rule requires previous notice and a majority vote, or a two-thirds vote without previous notice.
Here is a Standing Rules Sample: Samples of Standing Rules
For more information on bylaws, please access: www.capta.org/sections/management/bylaws.cfm
Here is a dowloadable pdf file of the cover sheet which needs to be filled out when submitting bylaws to the Peralta District PTA parliamentarian.
Bylaws Cover Sheet (PDF | DOC)
This downloadable pdf document is the Unit Bylaws Information Summary which directs your attention to the most important sections of the bylaws that may require revision.
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.
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 Peralta's 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".
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
1. Officer elections are required every year. An officer can serve for two consecutive terms, but must be elected each year.
2. Only one person can be elected to one office. Co-officers are not allowed. Bylaws can specify a president and an executive vice-president, but they are not "co-presidents" who share one official role.
3. All PTA votes must be done in person at a meeting. In-person voting applies to both executive board and association meetings.
4. Voting by proxy is not allowed. For example, your friend cannot tell you to vote for her at the meeting. If she would like to vote, she must be there in person.
5. If two or more people are running for one office, then voting must be done by ballot. If you know in advance that an election will be contested, please reach out to your council or district leadership for support.
6. If there are any vacancies on the executive board after the annual election, then the vacancies are filled by the new executive board.
7. The association is the body that votes on budgets and expenditures. The executive board votes to make recommendations about budgets and expenditures to the association, but the association has finalapproval of all budget items.
8. If an issue comes up which needs an association vote and there is not a regularly scheduled association meeting, a special meeting can be called by the president. The association must be given 10 days notice for this meeting along with an agenda outlining the actions to be taken at the meeting. This situation often occurs near the end of the year when an event or expenditure comes up unexpectedly. Calling a special meeting is how to move forward and not wait until the next school year to take action.
Click here to read some common PTA rules and procedures.