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.
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.
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.