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.

Meeting Notice, Quorums and Voting

ADEQUATE MEETING NOTICE

Article VII, Section 1, states that “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.” Such notice is a stipulation of California Corporations Code.

To meet this requirement, presidents may use a variety of ways to publish each meeting agenda listing the general nature of business to be conducted ten (10) days before association meetings. The quorum for a meeting is established in the bylaws with the caution that “if this bylaw provision authorizes a quorum of less than one-third of the voting power, then only those matters the general nature of which was contained in the notice of the meeting may be voted upon at such meeting.” This, too, is California Corporations Code.

Since virtually all PTAs state a quorum of less than one-third of the voting power, all PTAs are bound by this additional requirement. Items of business which were not in the notice may NOT be acted upon at that particular meeting, but may be discussed and placed on the agenda for action at the next meeting.

Executive board meeting notices and agenda must also be provided to the executive board members ten (10) days prior to executive board meetings.

For the annual meeting, when elections are held, or for meetings at which bylaws amendments are to be adopted, a minimum 30 days’ meeting notice is required. The slate of nominees must be presented in writing to the association’s members 28 days in advance of the annual meeting.

While the agenda does not need to be detailed, it does need to provide information to members about the business to be considered. “Written notice” may include, but is not limited to, publishing the information in the PTA newsletter, providing it at the bottom of current meeting agenda (when the next meeting is 90 days or fewer), posting it at school, posting it on the PTA Web site, or sending it via e-mail.

Adequate care must be taken that the information is accessible to all members; therefore, consideration must be given as to whether members have computers and access to e-mail or the Internet on a daily basis. The methods used must provide reasonable assurance that all voting members have received the notice.

 

QUORUMS

Frequently members of organizations are absent. The business of the organization must be accomplished. The business should not be bound by an “unrepresentively small number of individuals who might attend a meeting.” To prevent this underrepresentation, a quorum – minimum number of members who must attend – is required for a meeting to conduct business.

When no quorum is present the body can do only limited business: hear reports, and set the meeting date and location for the next meeting. A substantive action taken without a quorum is invalid.

A body loses its right to conduct business, if during the meeting, members leave and the remainder no longer satisfies the quorum.

The chair should confirm whether the quorum has been met at the beginning of the meeting.

Unit bylaws describe the quorum required for association meetings and executive board meetings.

Unless otherwise stated in the bylaws or standing rules, the quorum for a committee is a simple majority of the members sitting on a committee or one half plus one (Toolkit, Committee Development and Guidelines). See Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, Article IX, Section I.

The quorum for an association meeting is established in the bylaws with the caution that “if this bylaw provision authorizes a quorum of less than one-third of the voting power, then only those matters the general nature of which was contained in the notice of the meeting may be voted upon at such meeting.” This, too, is California Corporations Code.

Since virtually all PTAs state a quorum of less than one-third of the voting power, all PTAs are bound by this additional requirement. Items of business which were not in the notice may NOT be acted upon at that particular meeting, but may be discussed and placed on the agenda for action at the next meeting. Standing Rules **3, and 4 provide further information.

Quorums are not to be confused with the vote required to adopt a motion.

 

VOTING

A member must be enrolled for 30 days in order to be eligible to vote. California State PTA membership year is from July 1 to June 30 of each year, with an annual grace period to rejoin until October 31.

Voting may be conducted by voice vote, standing vote, roll call vote, and ballot vote. Refer to Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised, or Roberts Rules of Order In Brief.

Unless specified otherwise in the bylaws, the outcome of a vote is determined by the majority (more than one half excluding blanks and abstentions) of those present, eligible to vote and voting. Exceptions, which require two-thirds (2/3) are bylaws amendments, motions to amend something previously adopted,  including revised budgets and programs, etc.

No member may be forced to vote. A member who wishes not to vote may remain silent during a voice vote or roll call vote, or may submit a blank ballot during a ballot vote. The vote is not counted.

PTA elections, when there are two or more candidates, require a majority vote by ballot to determine the officer. This means one candidate must receive more than one half of the votes cast. The ballot must be repeated until one candidate receives a majority vote or one candidate withdraws. The outcome of the ballot vote is recorded in the minutes.

The secretary (and/or treasurer) maintains each year’s official membership list. The list is updated for each association meeting. If a current membership list is not available at the association meeting, then all present are eligible to vote.

Bylaws and Standing Rules

Bylaws are designed to help your PTA function in an orderly manner. PTA bylaws describe the purpose of PTA and its mission, and members’ rights, in addition to officers, committees and their respective duties.

The only official set of PTA bylaws for any PTA is an original approved current set of bylaws, signed and dated by the state parliamentarian, PTA president and secretary, and on file with the unit PTA secretary.

A copy of the association’s Bylaws for the Local PTA/PTSA Units must be made available to any association member upon request. A copy should be provided to all officers and board members. Each executive board member is responsible for making a thorough study of them.

The Essential Role of Bylaws

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Local PTAs that need a current copy of their approved bylaws should contact their council or district parliamentarian for assistance. Council and district PTAs maintain file copies of current approved bylaws for member units. California State PTA does not keep copies of local PTA bylaws.

California State PTA does not provide bylaws to units, councils, districts electronically. Unit, council or district bylaws should NOT be scanned or posted on any publicly-accessible website. Bylaws always include officer signatures, which must be protected from inappropriate use. Websites generally do not provide any measure of security and may be accessed by anyone, including those who are not members of the association.

REVIEWING AND UPDATING BYLAWS

Bylaws should be reviewed annually, and updated every five (5) years by the bylaws committee of the association, chaired by the parliamentarian. The procedures and instructions to complete the bylaws are found inside the front cover of each set of bylaws.

Electronic bylaws are now available (in English), and are highly recommended!

Check out eBylaws

Instructions for bylaw review:

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When the California State PTA approves changes to the standard bylaws for local PTA/PTSA units, the change is effective for all PTAs/PTSAs whether the printed copy being used by your PTA includes that change or not.

Note: Any change in the association’s bylaws, including the number of officers, positions, or membership dues amounts may not be implemented until bylaws have been submitted through channels (council and district PTAs) to the California State PTA parliamentarian for approval.

This means that your PTA must continue to charge the stated dues amount, elect the stated officers, and hold meetings as provided for in your most current set of bylaws signed by the California State PTA parliamentarian. Simply adopting the amendments at an association meeting without prior state approval is not sufficient.

Most bylaws are processed by the state parliamentarian within two weeks of receipt unless additional information is required. Bylaws submitted for review should be returned to you through channels within 6-8 weeks of the original submission date. If you have not received the bylaws back within this time frame, contact your council or district parliamentarian immediately. If you need additional assistance, contact your council or district president or contact the State Parliamentarian at parliamentarian@capta.org.

BYLAWS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

What are bylaws? How often should my PTA amend the bylaws? Who should receive copies? Check out answers to these questions and more!

Bylaws Q&A

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

STANDING RULES VS. BYLAWS

Standing rules outline the procedures of the organization that are not included in the bylaws and must not conflict with the bylaws or the California State PTA Toolkit. They may be changed or amended without notice with a two-thirds (2/3rd) majority vote of the association, or a majority vote with thirty (30) days’ notice.

Some of the differences between standing rules and bylaws are:

  • Bylaws state when the meetings of the association are held.
  • Standing rules tell where and what time association meetings are held, and when executive board 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 programs, the standing rules would list the various special committee chairmen who work under that vice president, such as Founders Day, Honorary Service Awards, etc. The bylaws describe the authority of committees. Standing rules indicate which committees are standing committees whose chairmen are voting members of the executive board and which committees are special committees, whose chairmen do not have executive board voting privileges and to which executive board member they report.

If the organization has supplies or equipment, the standing rules would state who is responsible for them and where they would be kept. They might also list details of the installation of officers, and who has responsibility for securing the past president’s pin.

SR 17 Explained