Bylaws and Standing Rules
Bylaws are the fundamental governing rules of a PTA. They contain the basic rules related to conducting the unit's business and governing its affairs. The Bylaws define the primary characteristics of the organization prescribe how the association functions and includes all rules considered important to the rights and responsibilities of membership.
Each Local PTA Unit affiliated with LAPTA must use the LAPTA Bylaws Template provided below. There are limited customizable fields within the document that may be altered.
As a reminder, PTAs must update their Bylaws every three years. There should be an LAPTA approval date on the first page of the Bylaws. If the Bylaws are currently expired or about to expire, the PTA must use the Local PTA Unit Bylaws Template and the Bylaws Approval Form which are linked below. See the Timeline Summary to plan the required meetings and to give the minimum notices for the meetings. Email Bylaws@LouisianaPTA.org with any questions.
Bylaws Downloads for Local PTA Units
When it is time to update the Bylaws, download the LAPTA Local PTA Unit Bylaws Template and the Bylaws Approval Form and Instructions. See the Timeline Summary for the complete instructions and required notices for updating the Bylaws. Fill in the customizable fields of the Bylaws. No other changes may be made to the template. Present the Bylaws to the General Membership for approval. Complete the Bylaws Approval Form, and email both files to Bylaws@LouisianaPTA.org.
When updating the Bylaws, here is an overview of the timeline which can be downloaded above:
Pick the date for the General Membership meeting that will vote on the Bylaws.
Appoint the Bylaws Committee of at least three people by making a motion at either a General Membership or Board of Directors meeting. If it is a General Membership meeting, a majority vote is required. At a Board of Directors meeting, a 2/3 vote is required.
The Bylaws Committee meets to complete the proposed LAPTA Bylaws template. They can ask LAPTA to review the proposed Bylaws to check for any errors by emailing Bylaws@LouisianaPTA.org.
At least 20 days before a General Membership meeting, publicly give notice of the meeting and post the Bylaws for review by the membership. A “Special” General Membership meeting can be called with 10 days' notice.
At the General Membership meeting with a quorum established, present the Bylaws. Have time for any questions or changes. Make a motion to accept the Bylaws. A two-thirds vote of approval by the members present is required. Complete the Bylaws Approval Form.
Email the Bylaws Approval Form and the Bylaws to LAPTA at Bylaws@LouisianaPTA.org. LAPTA will review the Bylaws, give them the final stamp of approval and date, and then email the stamped copy back to the PTA.
Standing Rules are detailed guidelines that contain additional information on who does what within the PTA. They set forth the procedures adopted to direct the PTA and to accomplish specific PTA work. They provide continuity and serve as a guide to ensure the orderly transfer of duties from one administration to the next. They are a valuable training tool for the orientation of new board members and may contain any traditions or specific information that pertains to the PTA. Local PTA Units should have their own personal Standing Rules. Standing Rules are the rules the PTA adopts to administer PTA work under the provisions of the Bylaws. Standing Rules must conform to and may not conflict with the Bylaws. They are generally not adopted when a PTA is newly organized but are developed and adopted as needs arise. The following guidelines are suggestions and should be attached to the Standing Rules for ongoing reference and instruction. Standing Rules are more flexible than Bylaws. They do not contain parliamentary procedure and are adopted and amended. Standing Rules are kept with the Bylaws in the officers’ procedure binders and are passed on to incoming officers. All Board members and committee chairs should have a copy of the Standing Rules. The Bylaws and Standing Rules need to be studied by incoming officers and reviewed frequently for understanding and training to ensure they are still accurate and applicable. The secretary has a copy of the Standing Rules available at all PTA meetings. Each set of Standing Rules is unique. No two are alike because no two PTAs are alike. The Standing Rules may be organized in any way desired, such as in articles and sections as in the Bylaws, in numerical order as they are adopted, by topic and sub-topic groups, etc. Developing Standing Rules is not difficult. They may be adopted individually in a General Membership meeting as the need arises. To adopt a set of Standing Rules, appoint a committee of at least three experienced, knowledgeable members of the PTA to prepare them. Using the Bylaws as a starting point, the committee should consider each provision and then formulate instructions for applying it. Use the minutes of Board and General Membership meetings and the experience of committee members as additional resources. After the committee prepares the Standing Rules, they are presented to the Board for review and then to the General Membership for approval by a majority vote. Standing Rules may contain as much information and detail as needed for the functioning of the PTA. The more details included, the easier the job will be for future board members. Standing Rules should include any specific, detailed duties and responsibilities for individual officers, Executive Committee, Board, and committee chairs. Details and descriptions that would be helpful include any consistent person, date, location, time, event, activity, assignment, tradition, and process that occurs traditionally during the PTA year. Detailed information about the following additional topics and more could be included in the Standing Rules: •Titles and specific duties of the Vice-Presidents •Orientation of new Board Members •Procedure binders •Meetings •Details for standing and special committees, which might include finance, membership, public relations, newsletter, volunteers, programs, legislation, Reflections, budget, teacher appreciation, hospitality, etc. •Committee’s duties, who serves on them, and how committee members are determined •Needs assessment •Student involvement •Fiscal policies and procedures, including location of bank and updating signatories and debit cards •Nominating Committee instructions •Installation of new officers •Requirements for special recognitions and awards •Equipment the PTA owns and where it is located •LAPTA meetings and who attends Download a sample Standing Rules below in PDF or Word formats.
LAPTA Toolkit: Bylaws, Standing Rules, & Articles of Incorporation
162 Articles of Incorporation
163 Bylaws & Amendments: Updating & Approval
164 Bylaws Approval Timeline Summary
164 Bylaws & Amendments Approval Form
165 Instructions for Bylaws Template
166 Standing Rules