All officers and board members should be familiar with and prepared to follow their local unit bylaws.

Bylaws are adopted and amended by a vote of your members at a general meeting. Local bylaws may not conflict with the bylaws of National PTA or your state PTA, and they cannot conflict with state or federal law.

As a 501(c)(3), bylaws are required to achieve and maintain nonprofit status.

Action Step: If you cannot find a copy of your PTA’s bylaws, contact your state PTA office to obtain one.

Any member has a right to view your bylaws. Each board member should have his or her own copy.

What Your Bylaws Should Include

Bylaws do not have to be complicated. Check with your state PTA to see if they can provide templates or have bylaws that all units must use. Bylaws should provide the following important information:

  • The structure of the local PTA board
  • Required meeting dates (may include how meeting notification should be given to members)
  • Requirements for a nominating committee
  • How and when to conduct elections
  • Dates for the fiscal year
  • Requirements of a quorum (minimum number of members who must be present to conduct business at a meeting) for conducting business
  • Directions for making, amending or revising the bylaws

Changing Bylaws

If your bylaws are preventing you from effectively conducting the business of your association, consider amending them to meet your current needs. Be sure to follow the guidelines within your bylaws for revising or amending the document. Make sure amendments are not in conflict with state or federal laws, or state or National PTA bylaws. Your state PTA or council/region can provide you with specific guidance.

Typically, a small committee is appointed to study the proposed changes to the bylaws and to make recommendations to the board for approval. Bylaws changes—both revisions and amendments—usually require both notice and a two-thirds majority vote.

Standing Rules

Your PTA may have standing rules that provide process and details that are not contained in the bylaws. Standing rules must not conflict with the bylaws. Unlike bylaws, standing rules may be changed from administration to administration or from meeting to meeting. Some state PTAs require units to have standing rules or may have standing rule templates, so check with your state PTA office.

Where to Go for Help

Your state, council or district PTA can provide bylaws assistance, so ask for help if you have questions about updating or revising your current bylaws. Most state PTAs provide fillable electronic forms or electronic templates to make revision easier.