NOTE: Due to Covid-19, PA/PTA elections will be held virtually for the 2020-2021 school year, if possible by October 31st. FACE will be using official DOE election guidelines in the coming weeks.
PA/PTA officers are elected by a vote of the general membership. Elections must be held in accordance with Chancellor’s Regulation A-660 and your PA/PTA’s bylaws, which must outline, among other things, the processes for selecting and nominating candidates and electing officers, and whether there may be co-officers. To ensure that the PA/PTA executive board represents the entire parent membership, elections must be held in a way that encourages as wide-spread participation as possible.
CR A-660 details specific rules for PA/PTA officer annual elections. PA/PTA officers as well as nominating committee members should review Section I.D. of the regulation. The following list contains many of the significant rules, though the regulation's section on elections should be reviewed in its entirety:
- The only qualification to run for an executive board officer position is being a parent of a child in the school.
- Parent members of the PA/PTA who have a conflict of interest must receive a waiver from the DOE Ethics Officer in order to run for a position on the executive board.
- School staff cannot run for an officer position on a PA/PTA executive board, even if they have a child at the school.
- PA/PTA officers’ terms are one year, from July 1 to June 30. Term limits, if any, should be specified in the PA/PTA’s bylaws.
- All offices must be held by a single person unless the PA/PTA bylaws allow for co-officers; co-officers must run together as a slate in order to serve together. Upon the resignation of one co-officer, the remaining officer has the option to serve alone or resign.
- PA/PTAs must hold elections by the last day of the school year and elect at least one mandatory PA/PTA officer (president, treasurer, or recording secretary); otherwise the PA/PTA will cease to exist.
- If the three mandatory officers are not elected by the last day of school, the PA/PTA must hold an expedited election by October 15.
- A PA/PTA’s bylaws may allow for one or more non-mandatory officers to be elected in the fall in order to include parents of incoming students in the election process.
- A PA/PTA must provide written notification of the election to all members at least 10 calendar days in advance; if the election cannot be held due to a lack of quorum, the second election meeting requires 5 days' notice.
- The school’s principal must be notified of the date and time of the PA/PTA election by April 1.
- The election notice must include specific information: (1) a list of all available executive board officer positions; (2) term limits, if they are included in the bylaws; (3) the fact that the only qualification for all offices is being a parent of a child in the school; (4) information on how parents can become candidates; (5) the date the nomination closes; and the method of notice distribution.
- The election notice should also be available in the language spoken by parents at the school; the PA/PTA may request assistance with translation from the principal.
- No one can distribute or post materials supporting any candidate on school property or the school’s website; direct or indirect distribution or posting of campaign materials on the school premises or on the school's website subjects candidates to disqualification for that election year only.
- All candidates must be given the opportunity to address the PA/PTA membership during the election meeting.
- School officials are forbidden from direct or indirect interference with the election process.
- All members of the PA/PTA are eligible to vote, though voting by proxy, absentee ballots, email, and conference call is prohibited.
- Ballots must be counted immediately following the conclusion of voting and in the presence of at least 3 PA/PTA members.
- In a contested election, the PA/PTA must retain ballots on school premises for a minimum of one year (and longer in the case of an unresolved grievance).
- After the election, the principal, parent coordinator, or school webmaster must update the School Parent Leader Contact Information System (SPLCI) with the election results and contact information within 5 days of the election. They must also update the SPLCI within 5 days of the resignation or removal of a mandatory officers, and again within 5 days of the filling of the vacancy.
An expedited election is required in the following three instances: 1) when a PA/PTA has failed elect the three mandatory officers, 2) when a PA/PTA was unable to fill an officer vacancy by succession, and 3) to establish a PA/PTA in a new school. Again, CR A-660, details the rules for expedited elections, including:
- If a PA/PTA ceases to by the last day of school, an expedited election must be held by September 30.
- If a PA/PTA has one or two mandatory officer positions that cannot be filled by succession at the start of the year, the current PA/PTA executive board must conduct an expedited election to fill the vacancies by October 15.
- When an officer vacancy is created by resignation or removal, the PA/PTA executive board must notify the membership in writing within 5 calendar days and specify whether the vacancy will be filled by succession or expedited election.
- Mandatory officer vacancies which arise after the start of the school year should be filled as soon as possible. If the vacany cannot be filled by succession, an expedited election must be held within 60 days of the vacancy.
- Expedited elections for non-mandatory officer vacancies are suggested but not required.
- The PA/PTA must provide written notification of the expedited election to all members at least 10 calendar days in advance. (When establishing a new PTA, the principal should provide this notice.)
- The election notice must include specific information: a list of all available executive board positions; term limits, if they are included in the bylaws; the fact that the only qualification for office is being a parent of a child in the school; an indication that all nominations for available positions will be taken from the floor.
- All nominations are taken from the floor during the election meeting.
- Voting is conducted in the same manner as an annual election (see CR A-660, Sections I.F.1.e and I.F.1.f.)
Post Election Process
After the election, newly elected PA/PTA officers should work with the principal or designated staff member to complete the Election Certification Form (which can be accessed from the DOE’s Parent Leadership Resources page below). The principal or designated staff member should certify the election by signing the form. Contact information for mandatory officers must be entered into the School-Parent Leader Contact Information System. (As noted above, a a list of all elected PA/PTA officers, including names and phone numbers or email addresses, must be made available to the membership.)
CR A-655 requires that SLT elections be held after the PA/PTA elections in the spring. Many PA/PTAs hold their SLT elections for parent representatives on the same night, but immediately after the PA/PTA elections. As with notice of PA/PTA officer elections, a minimum of ten calendar days’ notice is required prior to the PTA’s election of its SLT parent members. Regardless of whether your school has a PA or PTA, only parent members of the school’s parent organization may vote to elect parent representatives for the SLT.
Individuals who believe an election was conducted improperly may submit an election grievance to the appropriate superintendent’s office. Grievances will be sustained only if there is a specific and material violation of either CR A-660 or the PA/PTA’s bylaws.
All election grievances must:
- be submitted in writing and must state the name of the complainant(s) and include a telephone number or email address where they may be contacted. Anonymous complaints and in-person or telephone complaints will not be accepted.
- be submitted no later than 5 calendar days after the election meeting or announcement of results if later.
- allege a specific, material violation of CR A-660 or the PA/PTA’s bylaws.
Grievance decision process:
No later than 10 days after receiving the grievance, the superintendent will issue either a written decision or a notification that the grievance has been referred to FACE. If the election grievance is referred to FACE, a written decision will be rendered no later than 10 days after the referral. The decision of FACE is final and binding. Decision of the superintendent may be appealed by FACE.
For guidance on election disputes or what might constitute timely scheduling of an expedited election, contact your Family Leadership Coordinator or Presidents' Council.