How to Start a PTA at Your School Now

ChecklistYou love your school and want to make it better- we applaud you!  So now… excited to find resources or better yet, a network of people who understand your school needs, you begin your quest for things to help your school excel:

  • A strong voice to speak on behalf of every child… check!
  • Funding opportunities to grow programs and initiatives within your school… check!
  • A network of leaders and educators working together to influence local, state and federal legislation that will benefit the students within your community… check!
  • Program and training opportunities to help parents, administrators, and the community to work together to improve schools and help children and families… check!
  • Discounts and special offers for members…check!

Then the light bulb goes off- We need a PTA! And now the question arises: How do I begin the process of becoming part of the PTA voice?

PTA starts its local chapters, called “units,” through our state-level associations.   Each local unit is an independent nonprofit and is set up in accordance with state and federal laws.  The process is unique to each state, but there are general steps that all groups take on their way to establishing a unit.  All PTAs will:

  • Start the process with their state-level PTA office.  National PTA can assist.  The state PTA will set up an initial meeting and explain the process for chartering and the benefits of joining the PTA family.
    • Create bylaws that meet state and federal requirements.  State PTAs have templates and models to assist.  Bylaws provide the organizational structure of your unit.
    • Identify and elect officers, such as a President and a Treasurer, who will help run the unit throughout the year.
    • Run membership campaigns to attract supporters to their association.   These members will pay dues, a portion of which goes toward membership in the state and National PTA.
    • Create committees to carry out the work of the association;
    • Apply for an Employer Identification Number ( EIN) with the state PTA’s help; and then
    • Open a bank account in the new PTA’s name.

Having a PTA can benefit your child, school, and community! So what are you waiting for? Click here to get more info on starting a PTA now.

Stacey Rowe is Member Services Specialist for National PTA.


  1. Brittani says:

    I have filled out this form to start a PTA several times and never receive a response. I have a group of parents/guardians and teachers that are extremely eager to get this started. The WA state emails and phone numbers I have been given are all defunct. Please assist us in beginning this as quickly as possible.

    • National PTA says:

      Brittani, someone from our Membership Department will be in touch with you tomorrow to offer support.

      Thank you for your comment and interest.

  2. L.A. Bonds says:

    Hello, our school recently became a charter and are ready to form our PTA. We had some discrepancies that are now cleared up. I will like to know how I may request the Back 2 School kit now. I may be reached by email. We need PTA assistance to make this school year a success. Thank you.

  3. Linda Dickinson says:

    How do I go about changing our school from PTO to PTA. In 2008-2010 we had a PTA and then they switched it to the current PTO. I would love to be able to speak to someone directly about some of these changes and how to make the switch effectively.

  4. Sarah says:

    I have submitted a start a PTA form, but have not heard from anyone. How do I get more information? Thank you.

  5. JoAnn Ross-Tucker says:


    I am new to the forum, but very interested in starting a PTA in my local school – Chicago Public Schools in Illinois. I could not locate a phone number or email for the anyone in Illinois, so please feel free to pass them my information. Currently, I am a member of the PAC – Parent Advisory Council; however, this entity is unable to fundraise and we are in dire need of fundraising. The budget issues in Illinois and Chicago has many schools on edge. Yet, many parents still want their children to receive a quality education that is well rounded with extracurricular activities and exposure to other activities.

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