Saturday, February 2, 2013

Endorsing Bonds in Elections

Our school district is going to be having a bond election in February.  At our last general membership meeting, our PTA membership voted to endorse the bond.  Is this something that we can publish in our PTA newsletter?
With respect to bond and levy elections, PTAs can support or oppose ballot propositions (as opposed to candidates*).
If your PTA uses “kidmail” or sends its newsletters home with the students or uses the school website to make its newsletter available to parents, then your newsletters are limited to publishing factual information that does not imply opinion or ask voters to vote one way or another.  For example, you can say “don’t forget to vote on February 12”, but you can’t say “please vote yes (or no) on February 12”.
If your PTA mails its newsletters, remember that supporting or opposing ballot propositions constitutes lobbying and as a 501(c)(3) organization your PTA can only devote an insubstantial part of your resources to such activities.
*WSPTA Uniform Bylaws prohibit the PTA from supporting candidates for public office. As always, if you have questions regarding this or any other PTA-related topic, please contact the WSPTA office.