Friday, November 22, 2013

Question of the Week

Can a local PTA/Council be involved in support of a bond/levy within their school district?  If so, to what extent?

A local unit PTA or a PTA council may take a stand on a ballot measure (such as school levy or bond), a legislative bill, initiative, or a referendum. The following information is provided to assist in this process.

Taking the Position:
• A formal position regarding a ballot measure can be taken by the general membership of a local unit PTA or PTA council or the board of directors. It is best practice to have important ballot measure decisions made by the general membership.
• The issue can be included on the agenda as an “action item” at a regularly scheduled meeting or a special meeting. To fulfill legal requirements of notice, ten days’ notice of the meeting must be given to all members/board members.
• An approved facilities use form must be completed for the local unit or council meeting if the meeting is held on school property.
• Best practices would be to present both the “pro” and “con” positions of any issue to the body making the decision to support/oppose.

Communicating the Position:
• Any communication which is persuasive in nature cannot be sent through school district property. This includes “kid mail” (flyers sent home with students), electronic methods which use district email/websites, or flyers posted/circulated on school property. Communications sent through school district property 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.”
 • A PTA newsletter may contain a meeting summary which includes the position taken, if a meeting summary is customarily included in newsletters throughout the year.
• Units/Councils may send persuasive information to members regarding the position taken, and supporting materials via U.S. postal mail.

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