PTA Stands with Families, Schools and Communities Impacted by California Wildfires

Media Contacts:

Heather Ippolito, Vice President for Communications
communications@capta.org

Ignacio Barragan, Assistant Executive Director
ibarragan@capta.org / 916.440.1985

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 4, 2019 – National PTA President Leslie Boggs and California State PTA President Celia Jaffe issued the following statement regarding the wildfires in California:

“PTA is deeply concerned for all our members and the families, schools and communities affected by the wildfires across California. We empathize with and stand ready to support those dealing with loss of property, safety and routines.

“As the oldest and largest child advocacy association in the U.S., it is our duty to help families and school communities as they rebuild and recover. We remain committed to doing everything we can to assist those affected and help restore learning environments as quickly as possible.

“PTA offers resources to help families and educators have conversations with children to help them deal with emotions of fear, confusion, sadness and anger they may feel after incidents like the wildfires. These resources and other tips can be accessed at PTA.org.

“PTA also offers a Disaster Relief Fund to respond to tragedies that grievously disrupt a school or education system. We encourage PTAs and schools impacted by the wildfires, blackout and school closures to apply for support from the fund. We also urge everyone to donate to the fund to help support PTAs and schools in need.

“PTA members work every day to give our children, families and school communities what they need to thrive. Following this type of event, our mission becomes that much more important. And as Thanksgiving approaches, the need to give has never been greater. We know we can count on our PTA members across the country to help meet the needs caused by the wildfires.”

Meet the 2019-21 Board of Directors

Media Contacts:

Ignacio Barragan, Assistant Executive Director
ibarragan@capta.org / (714) 423-0716

Heather Ippolito, Vice President for Communications
hippolito@capta.org

SACRAMENTO – Celia Jaffe, a resident of Huntington Beach, is the new president of California State PTA, leading the association of over 700,000 members in advocating for the education, health and welfare of California’s 9 million children.

Jaffe was elected to the 2019-21 term of office, which began on July 1. In her new role, Jaffe will serve as chief executive officer of the California State PTA and chair of the Board of Directors. California State PTA is the nation’s largest and highest profile child-advocacy organization and strives to connect families, schools and communities.

Jaffe has spent her entire life working with and for children and supporting public education, including teaching high school English and serving as a school board trustee.

“PTAs all over California strive to build connections between families and schools and to fight for the well-being of all children, and I am excited to support and enhance those important efforts. California State PTA also brings the advocacy voice of our membership to policy-makers at all levels, and I cherish that role as well,” said Jaffe.

Jaffe has served the PTA at the local, regional, and state levels in many roles, including president of Fourth District PTA (Orange County) and statewide vice president for education. Her work with PTA has been focused on helping parents to understand the new state dashboard, advocating for a full-curriculum and and empowering schools and families to work together.

She and her husband have two adult children, and she has been involved in PTA since they were in elementary school.

“I see the positive results PTA makes in local communities where families are truly partners in educating our children, and the voice that PTA has in Sacramento making a difference for all kids,” said Jaffe. “The best byproduct of participating in PTA all these years is working alongside wonderful people who give of themselves in this volunteer organization.”

California State PTA has a long tradition of speaking up and speaking out on behalf of all children and families at national, state, regional and local levels. Joining your local PTA is a great way to support your child’s education. Learn more at www.capta.org/join.

2019 – 2021 California State PTA Board of Directors

  • Celia Jaffe, President
  • Carol Green, President-elect
  • Maria Steck, Vice President for Leadership Services
  • Michael Morgan, Vice President for Membership Services
  • Heather Ippolito, Vice President for Communications
  • Heidi Goddi, Vice President for Special Events
  • Mariaelena Huizar, Vice President for Health & Community Concerns
  • Lea Darrah, Vice President for Education
  • Deborah Johnson, Vice President for Family Engagement
  • Jeff Price, Secretary
  • Melinda Kirkland, Treasurer
  • Tim Davidson, Parliamentarian
  • Shereen Walter, Director of Legislation
  • Otis Cross, Chair of the District Presidents
  • Sherry Skelly Griffith, Executive Director

Summer PTA To-Do List

  1. The board should have a summer meeting to get to know each other and begin planning for the new term
  2. Make sure that the annual financial report is completed — then file your taxes!
  3. Complete the end-of-year audit and add the new check-signers to the bank account
  4. Select your membership theme for the year, set a membership goal and send out an email through TOTEM to remind folks to join for the 2019-20 school year
  5. Attend trainings offered by your council or district and make plans to attend the Regional Leadership Conferences in August and September
  6. Visit toolkit.capta.org to familiarize yourself with the Toolkit
  7. Review your calendar and budget to make sure they are in line with your plans and goals
  8. Relax and enjoy time with your family so you will be re-charged and ready for an amazing school year!

Lourdes Beleche: Putting the ‘T’ in PTA

lourdes_beleche_teacherLourdes Beleche is all about the kids.

A nominee for this year’s Contra Costa County Office of Education Teacher of the Year, Lourdes has taught several grades — including bilingual classes — at Concord’s Cambridge Elementary School (Mt. Diablo Council, Thirty-Second District PTA) for 19 years.

“I love watching students make connections with things they are learning about,” she said. “I love seeing them learn from each other and have discussions, arguments and defend their opinions.”

And in addition to her nearly two decades of teaching dedication, Lourdes is a dedicated PTA member inspired by her mother.

“Even though my mom didn’t speak English, she joined the PTA and volunteered at our elementary school – Nestor Elementary – setting an example for me,” she said.

“Teachers are the ‘T’ in PTA,” added Lourdes, noting how important it is for teachers to be involved. “I believe that, if we want parents to be active on campus, we also need to step out of the classroom and work side-by-side with them.”

Do you know an inspiring PTA volunteer or member like Lourdes? Let us know: Share your story with socialmedia@capta.org.

 

Per Capita Membership Dues

Some PTAs prefer to offer varied membership enrollment levels for students, school staff and families and donors. In each instance the amount of per-capita forwarded must be according to the council, district State and National PTA amounts. These membership packages require special attention by the membership chairman and the treasurer to assure members receive their memberships cards and the correct amounts are remitted to council and district PTA.

In article IV, Membership, Section 4, insert this language by hand or typewritten:

  • Each faculty member of the association shall pay annual per capita dues of ____dollars and ____ cents ($_____) to the association.
  • Each student member of the association shall pay annual per capita dues of ____dollars and ____ cents ($_____) to the association.
  • Each member of the association shall pay annual dues of _____dollars and ____cents ($_______) per member (also means per capita) to the association, or _____ dollars and _____ cents ($_____) per family of _____ (number) members.

Questions

  • Contact your council PTA president, treasurer and/or parliamentarian if in council.
  • If out of council, contact your district PTA president, treasurer and/or parliamentarian.

Reflections Art Program Logos, Fliers and Promotional Materials

Encourage your school community to be part of PTA’s Reflections Program “I Matter Because…” with promotional materials.

Running Your PTA… Made Easy

One of the wonderful benefits of belonging to PTA is the support system it offers.

Running Your PTA… Made Easy provides simplified summaries of the PTA basics that all PTA board members should know. It covers meetings, recruiting volunteers, finance, membership and more.

Reading this basic guide will enhance your experience as a PTA leader and provide you with information on topics you will be likely to reference throughout your term of office.

Download here.

Signing Contracts and Paying Bills

Signing contracts…Who, what, why, where and when

Annually, many PTAs enter into a variety of contracts, such as contracting with a band to provide live music for a school dance, or to purchase supplies for student spirit stores or for fundraising ventures. “PTA assumes full responsibility to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract and to pay the agreed-upon sum. The fact that the activity or fundraiser may not be a financial success or the PTA has insufficient funds to meet the obligation has no effect on the responsibility assumed.” (National PTA PTA Finance Quick Reference Guide).

Contracts are “legally enforceable agreements between two or more persons or organizations.”  To find guidelines and written resources pertaining to signing contracts, refer to the California State PTA Toolkit, Finance, Policies and Procedures, Contracts; and National PTA’s PTA Finance Quick Reference Guide.

Before entering into a contract on behalf of PTA, consider the following:

  • Has the membership approved the project?
  • Does the president have authorization from the board/executive committee to negotiate a contract?
  • Have all proposed contracts been received in writing?
  • Are the terms and conditions understood by and agreed to by the board/executive committee?
  • Do you need review by legal representation?
  • Is the length of the contract limited to the term of the participating officers, not to encumber future boards?

If the vendor wants the PTA to sign a contract with a “hold harmless clause” the association should contact the California State insurance broker before signing. A hold harmless clause in the vendor’s favor places the responsibility on the PTA for injury or damages.

PTAs are required to obtain a “hold harmless agreement” and “evidence of insurance” from each vendor, concessionaire, or service provider who provides service for PTA projects or events. Instead of providing “evidence of insurance” to each individual unit, businesses may file an annual copy of coverage with the California State PTA insurance broker. A list of approved vendors is updated each month and is included in the insurance section of the California State PTA website.

When entering into a contract, the PTA president is responsible for the agreement and should clearly identify that it is the PTA entering into the contract and not the president or second elected officer as individuals. The signatures on a written contract should read, “____________ PTA (unit, council or district PTA) by: John Doe, president and Mary Smith, vice president.” (California State PTA Toolkit.)

PTA officers cannot enter into any contracts before they legally take office. Remember, if there is any question about the terms or conditions of the contract, the proper time to seek advice is before signing – not after.

 

Paying bills between association meetings

Bylaws For Local PTA/PTSA Units, Article VIII, Section 2c, states, “The executive board may authorize payment of other unbudgeted association bills not to exceed accumulative total of ($___ amount ) and ($___ amount ) between meetings of the association. Ratification of payment of these bills must occur at the next association meeting and must be recorded in the association minutes.”

What exactly does this mean? When you adopt the annual budget at the beginning of the fiscal year, you are NOT authorizing expenditure of the money. A budget is a financial representation of the estimated costs of planned activities and programs a PTA/PTSA expects to put on during a specific time period. It is a guideline for estimating income and expenditures. An expense is first estimated, then actuated, then the budget is adjusted accordingly, if necessary, as the PTA year proceeds. This budget must be presented to and approved (or adopted) by the general membership by majority vote at the first meeting of the fiscal year. A revised budget is usually presented mid-year and requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote.

As the PTA program continues, expenses are incurred. Each expense must be approved by the membership, either before the expenditure or after. Despite the best planning, expenses will occur between meetings and it is not always convenient to wait until the next association to pay the bill or to repay the person who spent the funds. Article VIII, Section 2c, provides the means to pay unexpected expenses without waiting for prior approval.

The treasurer must track bills paid without prior authorization between meetings to ensure the total amount does not exceed the limit specified in the bylaws. All bills to be paid must be presented with receipts. The amounts paid are then ratified by the membership at the next scheduled association meeting.

Further information may be found in your bylaws, the California State PTA Toolkit, and National PTA’s President and PTA Finance Quick Reference Guides.