WHAT ARE BYLAWS?
Each PTA in California is governed by bylaws based on the standard developed by the state organization. Bylaws may never be suspended but may be amended following procedures set by the California State PTA.
WHAT’S IN THE BYLAWS?
The name of the association; articles and purpose of the organization; basic policies; qualifications for membership; rules for officers, executive board, meetings, committees and running the PTA.
HOW ARE THE BYLAWS ADOPTED?
The bylaws are adopted by members of the organization.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD A PTA AMEND THE BYLAWS?
Bylaws should be reviewed each year to determine if any changes need to be made. At least once every three years, the bylaws should be transferred to the most recent edition of the standard bylaws from the California State PTA.
HOW ARE STANDARD BYLAWS OBTAINED?
Bylaws can be ordered from the California State PTA’s List of PTA Materials. Many district PTAs keep a supply of standard unit and council bylaws for purchase.
HOW ARE CHANGES MADE IN THE BYLAWS?
- The president appoints a bylaws review committee (3-5 people) chaired by the parliamentarian.
- The committee reviews the bylaws to see if any changes are necessary and then completes a set of the most current edition of Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units.
HOW ARE CHANGES MADE IN THE BYLAWS?
- The committee prepares a detailed list of proposed amendments.
- The committee presents to the executive board the recommendation that no changes be made or the list of proposed amendments.
- The executive board votes and the outcome is recorded in the minutes.
- The parliamentarian submits the detailed list along with three (3) copies of the bylaws and five (5) additional signature pages through council and PTA district channels to the California State PTA parliamentarian.
Out of council unit parliamentarians submit two (2) copies of bylaws and four (4) signature pages directly to the district PTA. These steps also apply to councils; use most current edition of Council Bylaws.
WHAT PROCEDURES ARE FOLLOWED WHEN THE BYLAWS ARE RETURNED?
- The California State PTA parliamentarian returns signed bylaws to the unit through district and council PTA channels.
- An association meeting is scheduled to adopt the amendments to the bylaws.
- Members must be notified of the meeting at least thirty (30) days in advance and a list of the proposed amendments must be included with the notice.
- A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the association membership is required to adopt the amendments.
- After the association adopts the amendments, the president and secretary sign and date the master copy of the bylaws and the extra signature pages. Two signed signature pages are returned: one – to the council parliamentarian, and one – to the district PTA parliamentarian, to update their file copy.
WHO SHOULD HAVE COPIES OF THE BYLAWS?
The master copies of the bylaws are kept by the president, secretary and parliamentarian. Additional copies of the bylaws are made for the procedure books of each member of the executive board, including the principal and teacher representative. The bylaws are to be available for any member to read.
WHAT ARE STANDING RULES?
The standing rules direct the administration of the organization. They are more flexible than bylaws and are adopted by the membership as a need arises. Standing rules are procedural rather than parliamentary.
HOW ARE CHANGES MADE IN THE STANDING RULES?
- To change or do away with a standing rule requires previous notice and a majority vote, or a two-thirds vote without previous notice.
- No standing rule is in order that is in conflict with the bylaws.
WHAT ARE ALL THOSE EXTRA MARKS (***) IN THE BYLAWS?
Requirements set by the National PTA and California State PTA are included in each set of bylaws marked with a triple star (***). Requirements set by California Corporate Code are marked with a double star (**). These marked articles and sections cannot be changed or altered in any way and must remain in all bylaws. All such items are automatically included in all bylaws after adoption at the state convention.
THE BYLAWS FOR OUR PTA ARE MORE THAN TEN YEARS OLD. ARE THEY STILL IN EFFECT?
Some of the basic information such as number of officers is still effective, however, once the California State PTA has adopted a change for the standard bylaws for local PTA/PTSAs, it is effective for all PTA/PTSAs whether the printed copy being used by your PTA includes that change or not. Amendments adopted by the California State PTA at the annual convention become effective for all PTA/PTSAs. It is strongly recommend that PTA bylaws be reviewed annually with an update to the most current edition of the standard bylaws at least every two years. Refer to Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, latest edition, for additional information.