Bylaws of PTAs/PTSAs determine its structure and provide specific regulations by which its affairs are governed and its officers are elected. The bylaws define or explain the rules under which the PTA functions. They protect the group from error and guide it to efficient service. Approved bylaws must be on file in the Kentucky PTA office to maintain a “unit in good standing” status.
A group, upon organization and before becoming a PTA, must adopt bylaws to meet its particular needs and submit four copies for approval to the Kentucky PTA office. All established PTAs and PTSAs must renew their bylaws every five years to remain a “unit in good standing.” Each year local unit bylaws are updated according to amendments from National PTA and Kentucky PTA and included in the Kentucky PTA Leaders’ Notebook for PTAs and PTSAs. The set of local unit bylaws in this edition of the Leaders’ Notebook is the most current and the set you should use if your bylaws are due for renewal. This set also supersedes all other sets of bylaws including your own approved bylaws. If your bylaws are not due for renewal for some time, you need to make sure they match this set. All amendments from National PTA and Kentucky PTA that affect local PTA and PTSA bylaws are automatic and cannot be ignored. The first five articles of the bylaws deal with the legalities necessary for a branch of a national association, nonprofit status, relationship with other branches, etc. The remaining articles deal more specifically with your particular PTA. Here are some of the safeguards the bylaws provide for:
- A quorum to be present in order to conduct business. The minutes must reflect that a quorum was present.
- Specific officers to be elected, how the nominating committee is elected, when the election takes place, etc.
- Funds to be spent according to a budget approved by the general body, who writes checks, an audit to be done yearly, etc.
- Procedure for amending the bylaws and requirements by Kentucky and National PTAs.
- A Parliamentary authority.
- Information, along with your parliamentary authority and Kentucky PTA’s SBDM Parent Handbook, to conduct SBDM Council parent elections.
The bylaws are your protection. Read them and be sure that you understand the ways they affect your PTA. Kentucky PTA Bylaws are reviewed each year. Amendments are approved by the delegation present at the convention- leadership. Call the Kentucky PTA office to request a copy.
“Unit in Good Standing”
Your PTA/PTSA must be a “unit in good standing” in order to have voting delegates at the Kentucky PTA convention-leadership; to be eligible for awards and scholarships; to participate in the insurance program of Kentucky PTA; and to remain a tax exempt 501(c)(3) entity under the Kentucky PTA group exemption.
Requirements for a “Unit in Good Standing”
To be a “unit in good standing”, your PTA/PTSA must:
- Adhere to the purposes and basic policies of PTA;
- Pay district, Kentucky and National PTA dues as required. One payment must be made on or before Oct. 15th of each year.
- Review treasurer’s books and submit the PTA financial review form (formerly Audit Report) to Kentucky PTA by August 15th;
- Have bylaws approved by the Kentucky PTA every five (5) years;
- Have an IRS Employer Identification number (EIN) on file at the Kentucky PTA office; and
- Maintain a minimum of ten (10) members.
Keep a set of approved bylaws with your PTA’s permanent records. If you can’t find your PTA’s bylaws, request a set from your district president or the Kentucky PTA office. Your PTA/PTSA secretary should have a copy and a copy should be kept in the school office. It’s also a good idea for all board members to have a copy of the bylaws. Take the time to go over the bylaws as a group and become familiar with them. Bylaws protect you and your PTA/PTSA. As long as your are abiding by your bylaws, you will avoid many problems.
The procedure for renewing or amending your bylaws follows.
Do not retype the bylaws, simply fill in the blanks. If you need to add sections to the bylaws you may use the lined space at the end of the bylaws or attach extra pages. Remember: all article and sections with a pound (#) sign must be included in your bylawsverbatim. There are no exceptions.
Procedure for Bylaws Renewal and Bylaws Amendments
To remain in good standing, your PTA/PTSA must renew its bylaws every five years. In addition, there are often other times when your PTA/PTSA may wish to amend its bylaws. Here is the procedure to follow.
- Check the last renewal date on the last page of your official bylaws copy–the copy with the embossed seal of approval. If your renewal date will be five years old before the end of the school year, your bylaws need renewing, reviewing and bringing up to date.
- Form a committee to review and update your bylaws (or to prepare amendments between renewal dates).
- Using the “required local unit bylaws format” prepare proposed changes from your previous bylaws.
- Bring proposed changes to the board for approval to present to the general membership. [Reminder: the board has the authority to propose bylaw amendments, but does not have the authority to approve them. Only your membership can do that.]
After the proposed bylaws have been approved to take to the general membership, the following steps must be taken:
- At least 30 days before the general meeting at which the bylaws are to be voted on, do either of the following:
- announce the proposed bylaws changes at a general meeting, reading both the current bylaw and the proposed bylaw for each change; or
- send a letter or newsletter to your members with the proposed bylaws changes, printing both the current bylaw and proposed bylaw for each change.Example: (Bylaws change to Kentucky PTA Bylaws ’06)
Proposed Amendment No. 1
Article IX: Board of Directors, Section 3
Proposed Bylaws Amendment:
Add 3 d.
Member must complete complete and sign a Conflict of Interest Policy Statement, which will be kept on file in the Kentucky PTA office.
Rationale: To be in compliance with expected procedures for non-profit board members.
- Present the amendments for approval at an open general meeting of your PTA/PTSA, to which all your members (you PTA’s/PTSA’s governing body) have been invited, and at which a quorum is present.
- Present each proposed bylaw change separately and vote on each separately.
- The vote must be taken by asking those for the change to rise and say aye, and those opposed to rise and say no. A two-thirds (2/3) vote is required for the change to pass.
- Send four (4) signed copies of the approved bylaws, one (1) copy of the minutes of the general meeting at which the bylaws were approved stating a quorum was present, and the bylaws approval form to: Kentucky PTA, P. O. Box 654, Frankfort, KY 40602-0654. Revised 2009 Bylaws will be posted to Kentucky PTA’s website www.kypta.org after the vote of delegates at the 2009 Convention meetings.
Be sure to keep a fifth copy for your PTA/PTSA. [Note: Faxed or E-mailed copies are not acceptable.] Your bylaws or amendments will go into effect as soon as they are approved by the Kentucky PTA. Your PTA will be sent an official copy with a date of approval and charter renewal certificate with an embossed seal of approval.