shortcut
New York State PTA every child one voice

New York State PTA

One Wembley Court
Albany, NY 12205
Phone: 518.452.8808
Toll Free: 1.877.569.7782
Fax: 518.452.8105

Email: pta.office@nyspta.org

Membership - What sets PTA apart from other parent groups?

Back to Membership Homepage-Other FAQs


Answer:   

PTA is a highly supportive association that provides a host of resources to the local units and councils. Easy-to-use bylaw patterns and instructions are offered electronically or given out to all PTA units and councils to follow so they don't have to reinvent the wheel, and it ensures that the templates are not changed. Non PTA parent groups must decide if they want to work with bylaws and then must put them together themselves.  

If a problem arises, if a need is identified, if money is mishandled—non PTA parent groups have no one to turn to other than the group’s members or school administration and they often do not want to get involved. PTAs are supported by a network of trained volunteers and professional staff, have access to training materials and guidance, and are encouraged to ask for assistance from the state and national support system that is in place to serve them.  

While PTAs are independent, can set their own goals and spend funds to meet these goals, all PTA units and all other 501(c)(3) not-for-profits must stay within certain parameters in order to comply with IRS regulations. NYS PTA provides guidance on fundraising and spending to help PTA units stay out of IRS difficulty. The goal is to give local PTAs the information they need to function properly so that they can stay focused on the needs of their students and schools instead of spending precious volunteer hours deciphering IRS rules and dealing with the sometimes costly implications of misinterpretation. NYS PTA’s Insurance Policy comes complete with guidelines to protect children and volunteers to the fullest.  

NYS PTA bills each unit for insurance with one fee to cover liability and the fidelity bond.  Non PTA parent groups must do this on their own along with securing their own 501(c)(3) status from the IRS which is an extremely costly, complicated and time-consuming process. While fundraising for items not covered by school budgets is an important component for non PTA parent groups, we know that parents are interested and concerned in other school issues as well. In contrast to these groups, PTA parents have a broader role to play beyond fundraising in the education of their children. Parents who are knowledgeable on the issues that impact schools and student achievement can more effectively participate in local and district school decisions and can advocate to legislators the need to allocate more funds for public schools.  

We at PTA know that advocacy works. If our members choose to get involved by working on issues that impact their children and schools, they receive the information and training they need to work effectively at the local, state and national levels for school funding, school safety, high quality teachers, high nutrition standards in school lunch programs, after school programs and more. These efforts benefit all children.  

It is also important to note that membership in a local PTA is all inclusive and we encourage the participation of mothers, fathers, grandparents, other family members, teachers, administrators, as well as community members without regard to race, color, creed or national origin. Each non PTA parent group is free to do this as well but may stipulate that they only allow the parents from their particular school to join and have a voice there. All PTA members benefit from the PTA Purposes, Mission Statement and Beliefs that we vote on in NYS PTA.  

Training our units and councils on a national, state and region level, and providing them with the most up-to-date resources, online instructional videos and tools necessary to carry out their responsibilities, is the most important and compelling difference that PTA has over non PTA parent groups.

The Value of PTA in printable .pdf format