Understanding Your Bylaws


Fourth District PTA  Parliamentarian   Send email

BYLAWS Submittal

2015 Bylaws will only be accepted until September 17th. After that, you will need to submit 2016 bylaws. ebylaws has been updated to the 2016 version.

The form is available by clicking on  Bylaws Submittal form .

If you have any questions, please contact me: parliamentarian@fourthdistrictpta.org


To obtain your PTA’s Charitable Trust Number:

Apply for a charitable trust number using form CT-1 with the California Attorney General. See checklists and a sample form at   www.capta.org under QUICK LINK / “Tax/Reporting Require-ments” / “Registry of Charitable Trust.”


What are Standing Rules?

Standing rule outlines the procedures of the organization that are not included in the bylaws and must not conflict with the bylaws. Some examples of the differences are:

  • Bylaws state when the meetings of the association and executive board are held.
  • Standing Rules tell where and what time these 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 the program, the Standing Rules would list the various chairmen, who work with the vice president under the first vice president’s title, such as program, Founders Day, Honorary Service Award, hospitality, refreshments, and program booklet.

Reviewing Your Bylaws *

Per the California State PTA bylaws must now be revised and submitted to them, through channels, every three years instead of every two years. However, PTAs must still review their bylaws and standing rules every year. In addition, if changes are made (for instance, dues are increased or the number of officers is changed), those changes must be made in the bylaws and the bylaws must be submitted through channels.

Bylaws are the legal document governing each PTA unit. They should be reviewed yearly and updated to the newest form every three (3) years. By following these simple steps, the review process is easy:

  • The unit or council president appoints the bylaws review committee, chaired by the Parliamentarian.
  • Using a copy of your current bylaws, review them to see if any changes need to be made (meeting dates, dues amounts, officers and their duties, etc.)
  • Obtain the latest edition of the unit or council bylaws from the California State PTA Office or from the Fourth District PTA Office. Use the instructions for completing the standard bylaws found on page ii.
  • Using the submittal form ( Bylaws Submittal form ), send the proposed bylaws to the council Parliamentarian for review.
  • The council Parliamentarian will then forward the bylaws to the district Parliamentarian who will review them and forward them to the California State PTA Parliamentarian for approval and official signature.
  • Upon return of your approved bylaws, schedule a vote to adopt the new bylaws and place it on the association meeting agenda at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.
  • After adoption by the association by a 2/3 vote, the master copy is signed by the secretary and copies are made for each officer’s procedure book.

If you need a copy of your current bylaws, your council Parliamentarian should be able to assist you.

Ever wonder why you are continually encouraged to update your bylaws?

Your bylaws are the framework for all the work your PTA does, and the bylaws are a continually changing document. Your organization is governed by them, whether or not you are operating under the most current changes.

Updated bylaws make your job as PTA board members easier. A lot of the decisions on the day-to-day running of your PTA have already been made and are printed in the bylaws.

You don’t need to decide when to have your association meetings – it’s already stated in your bylaws. Wonder what the national or state PTA dues are? Look it up in your bylaws. When should you hold your elections? It’s spelled out in your bylaws.

With so many basic decisions on running the organization already made, your board can focus more time and energy on providing good things for the students at your school.

Why do bylaws change?

PTA is a membership organization. Organizations have basic rules, policies, and procedures. Your agreement to these rules and policies is implied with your membership. Our organization’s rules promote and fulfill the purposes for which PTA was created. State laws, federal laws, and Civil Codes change, and organizations, whether nonprofit or otherwise, are sometimes affected. You must review and revise your bylaws to know, understand, and implement the changes in basic rules and legalities that will affect your organization.

The bylaws are a tool and a guide for your unit or council. They are not meant to be an instrument of obstruction.

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