Local PTA Unit Training & Resources

Thank you for investing your time and talent into your school by being a PTA leader. These tips and resources are designed to help you succeed by making the processes and rules a bit easier to understand. If you have questions about any of these, or would like to request additional resources, please contact us. We also recommend you participate in our ACCPTA Local Unit Officers Facebook group for ongoing support and ideas, as well as attend our meet-ups which are scheduled throghout the year.

5 Pillars of Compliance

To maintain in good standing with Florida PTA, local PTA units must do the following five things, which are also referenced here.

  1. Register officers annually
    Complete this form to register your current officers with Florida PTA. You will need with a valid email address (not a general PTA email), phone number, and home mailing address for each officer (the home mailing address is not shared with non-PTA entities). The officers required on the form are: President, Treasurer and Secretary. Other officers and committee chairs can be added if desired.
  2. Complete an annual financial review
    Complete an annual audit/financial review using this form, and submit it to Florida PTA at: audit@floridapta.org. Additional instructions can be found on the form. Audits can be conducted after June 30th and are due by August 31st of each year. ACCPTA is available to assist with local unit audits if needed.
  3. File taxes annually
    The current Treasurer and President should file taxes with the IRS by November 15th of each year. If PTAs have less than $50,000 in income, the tax filing is a simple 990 E-card that can be completed quickly online. Otherwise, PTAs might enlist the services of a CPA to assist. Assistance with taxes, including a visual walk-through, can be found here.
  4. Submit dues monthly
    Submit the FL PTA/National PTA portion of your member dues to Florida PTA on a monthly basis. This can be done in a few minutes using MemberHub, or a check can be mailed using this form.
  5. Update bylaws every three years
    Update your bylaws every three years. The current bylaws form and a form to submit updated bylaws can be found here.


Why is compliance important?
Remaining in good standing with Florida PTA is required to be eligible for programs such as student scholarships, state-level awards, and the ability to vote at the Florida PTA Leadership Conference in July. It’s also necessary to receive access to National PTA training and some Florida PTA resources. Failing to file taxes with the IRS for multiple years will result in loss of your PTA’s tax exempt status, which is important when receiving donations and building trust among your local community. If you are struggling with any of the areas of compliance, contact ACCPTA for assistance.

Presidents

President responsibilities

Leading a PTA meeting

Parliamentary procedure

PTA committees – budget, nominating, other

Officer elections

By-laws – why they are important, how to update them

Standing rules – examples

Training resources

Treasurers

Treasurer responsibilities

Bank accounts

IRS vs. PTA rules

Annual audits/financial reviews

Tax filing

PTA budgets – how to create one, samples

Insurance for PTAs

Paying member dues

Moneyminder vs. Quickbooks vs. Excel/homegrown systems

Treasurer forms

Training resources – how to create a monthly report

Secretaries

Secretary duties

Sample minutes

Training resources

Membership

  • Membership growth ideas from local units – coming soon!

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Making sure everyone at your school feels welcomed and included in PTA is at the heart fo what PTA is all about. Our DEI Committee created this comprehensive DEI Toolkit to assist PTAs no matter where they are within their DEI journey. We encourage you to utilize all or part of this resource to help you increase the diversity of your PTA and your programming. If you have any questions or would like further assistasnce in this area, please contact us.

Access the DEI Toolkit here

Programs

  • Program ideas from local units – coming soon!

Fundraising

  • Fundraising ideas from local units – coming soon!
  • Tips for soliciting business support – coming soon!

Communications

  • Communicating with your members – coming soon!
  • Social media tips – coming soon!

Newly Chartered or Reactivated PTAs

Thank you for your interest in forming a new PTA at your school or reactivating an inactive PTA. ACCPTA is here to assist you and make sure you are supported in this important journey. This page provides some important information about what is needed to move forward with the process, as well as things that will help your PTA stay successful once it’s up and running.

What is PTA?

PTA stands for Parent Teacher Association (or in the case of some middle and high schools, PTSA also includes students). PTA’s mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. PTAs are self-governing local units of Florida PTA and National PTA, which is the oldest and largest child advocacy association in the United States. Download this “Why PTA” handout for more details about the benefits of becoming a PTA. This site provides a good explanation of the difference between a PTA and an unaffiliated group.

What is Needed to be a PTA?

Part of the benefit of being a PTA includes the structure that helps ensure consistency and sustainability. To help maintain that, PTAs must, at a minimum, follow five main areas of compliance as established by Florida PTA, which are described here and outlined briefly below:

  1. Elect a minimum of three officers each year, and complete an online form to register them with Florida PTA. Completing this form ensures your contact information is up to date and that you can receive important information that will assist your PTA. Officer duties vary for each PTA, but their overall responsibilities are as follows:
    • President
      • Chair PTA board meetings (typically once per month) and general membership meetings (typically three times per year).
      • Approve expenses and sign checks, along with the Treasurer.
      • Maintain communication with the PTA officers and committee chairs to provide support and ensure the PTA is making progress.
      • Maintain a positive relationship with school administration to make sure PTA is helping them meet their goals.
      • Represent PTA at internal and external functions.
    • Treasurer
      • Maintain transparency and accountability for organizational funds.
      • Serve as a signer for the checking account.
      • Ensure the audit/financial review is completed and taxes are filed on an annual basis.
      • Work with the Budget Committee to create and maintain a yearly budget.
      • Prepare a report for the board each month and for the membership each general meeting that compares actual revenue and expenses to the budget and explains discrepancies.
    • Secretary
      • Take minutes during PTA board and general meetings and distribute for action/approval after the meeting.
      • Maintain PTA records, including meeting minutes, attendance, etc.
  2. Collect member dues and submit the state and national portion of those dues to Florida PTA on a monthly basis. See the “What your Florida PTA Dues Pay for” handout for more information.
  3. Complete an annual audit/financial review of your PTA’s financial records. This ensures PTA membership dollars and funds raised are being spent as planned and that there is transparency and accountability for PTA expenditures. Florida PTA provides a two-page form to complete the review, as well as instructions and assistance as needed.
  4. File taxes with the IRS each year. If your PTA brings in less than $50,000 each year, the process is a simple e-postcard that should take no more than 15 minutes.
  5. Update your unit’s by-laws every three years. By-laws help ensure there is consistency and transparency in how PTA decisions are made.

What Makes a Successful PTA?

There are many factors that contribute to a PTA’s success, but the most important thing is buy-in and support from the people who support your school. Before chartering or re-activating a PTA, the school should make sure there is enough support to help the group succeed.

  1. Support from the school principal and other administrators. Although PTA is a separate entity from the school, the PTA should operate in close cooperation with the school and make sure all projects and activities are helping the school reach its goals. Regular communication with and support from the principal is key to ensuring this happens.
    • Support from teachers/staff. Teachers and staff will also help ensure PTA is helping the school reach its goals, as well as promote PTA to parents/guardians. Teachers and staff can also help make sure PTA’s programs are relevant to the school because they have the most knowledge about what the students need.
    • Support from parents/guardians at the school. A majority of PTA’s membership will likely consist of parents or guardians, so their support is critical to success. They will help PTA through attending meetings, sharing ideas, helping advocate, and volunteering for PTA activities.

    Next Steps – Organizational Meeting

    Once your school has the support it needs and is ready to move forward with a new PTA charter or reactivation, ACCPTA will host an organizational meeting. The following is needed for that meeting:

    1. A minimum of 10 people who will join PTA during the meeting. This is required per PTA by-laws to help ensure PTA is representative of the school and has enough people involved to make well-informed decisions. 
    2. Three people who are willing to serve as officers as described in the “What is Needed to be a PTA” section above. Ideally there would be enough people who have expressed interest in advance of the meeting because the organizational meeting cannot be completed without officer elections.


    The following things will be accomplished during the organizational meeting:

    1. ACCPTA will provide an overview of what PTA is, how it’s structured, and the benefits of being a PTA.
    2. The group will vote on the price of member dues. Most PTAs charge $5, $3.50 of which is sent to Florida PTA and National PTA.
    3. Once the price of dues is determined, people in attendance at the meeting will have the opportunity join the PTA. A minimum of 10 people must join during the meeting. ACCPTA will manage the initial process of collecting member dues, either through an online link (for a virtual meeting), or through cash/check (for an in-person meeting).
    4. At least three officers will be elected (see descriptions above). Additional officers may be elected if desired.
    5. The group will vote on the first set of by-laws. ACCPTA will walk through the process using this template provided by Florida PTA. The items that can be changed are noted in the document and will be voted on by the group.

    After the Meeting

    If your PTA is a new charter, your newly elected Treasurer will need to apply for an EIN and tax exempt certificate. See the separate instructions in the “Additional Resources” section below for how to do that. These are needed before the next steps can take place.


    ACCPTA will do the following to complete the process for both new charters and reactivations:

    1. Register your newly elected officers with Florida PTA.
    2. Submit your by-laws to Florida PTA.
    3. For re-activations, submit your completed audit from the last time your PTA was active to Florida PTA (if needed, if an audit wasn’t complete during the last year of activation).
    4. Send the state and national portion of your member dues to Florida PTA and provide the local unit portion to you.


    Once these steps are complete and the items have been processed by Florida PTA, your PTA will be active!


    Your officers will receive the Kit of Materials from Florida PTA, which is a comprehensive resource to help you with next steps, including tips for how to run a PTA meeting, suggested committees, compliance forms, etc. ACCPTA will also continue to assist you with ideas and best practices. You will also receive access to MemberHub, which is an online system for collecting and paying your member dues online.

    Additional Resources

    The following additional resources and links will assist you with next steps once your PTA is activated.

    New Charters

    Reactivated PTAs

    Training Opportunities
    There are many resources available for your officers and other board members to participate in training, including:

    Your First PTA Board Meeting

    Now that your PTA is active, you can get started with doing the important work to support your school and your students! Following are some tips to help with your first meeting.

    • Scheduling the Meeting
      Work with your officers and principal to find the best date and time for your first board meeting, which should include your recently elected officers as well as anyone else who is interested in taking on a leadership role as a committee chair, etc. It’s a good idea to schedule your monthly board meetings at the same date/time each month for consistency.

      During your first board meeting, you should also think about scheduling your first General Membership Meeting, which will include all families at your school (both PTA members and non-members). This is a great way to introduce your new PTA to your school, share your plans for the year, and get people involved. Sample meeting agendas can be provided to assist with this if needed.
    • Establish Goals for the Year
      Your PTA’s goals should be based on priorities for your school and administration, feedback from teachers and staff about what students need, and input from your school’s families. You might start out small for your first year so you can establish a process and get to know your school.
    • Create Committees
      Based on what’s important to your school and your PTA, create committees that you can utilize to get the work done. The FL PTA Kit of Materials includes sample committees, but the most popular ones include:
      • Membership – promote membership to school families, staff, the community, etc. and manage membership paperwork.Programs – design and implement programs to benefit students such as science nights, reading nights, mental health support, etc.Specific event committees – depending on the significance of the event, some events have their own separate committees. This might include carnivals or large fundraisers such as fun runs.
      • Programs – design and implement programs to benefit students such as science nights, reading nights, mental health support, etc.
      • Fundraising – while PTA’s main purpose is not fundraising, sometimes funds are needed to be able to create programs. Fundraisers might include spirit nights at local restaurants, fun runs, catalog sales, etc.
      • Specific event committees – depending on the significance of the event, some events have their own separate committees. This might include carnivals or large fundraisers such as fun runs.
    • Establish an Annual Budget
      Create a budget committee to establish an annual budget for your PTA. The Kit of Materials explains this process in detail, and sample budgets can also be provided if needed.
    • Discuss Next Steps
      Once your goals and committees are established, it’s a good idea to establish a timeline and action items, and assign each item to a person or committee.
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