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?

Stacey Rowe is Member Services Specialist for National PTA.