Georgia PTA no longer on probation with National PTA

Credit: Maureen Downey

Credit: Maureen Downey

The Georgia PTA announced it is no longer on probation with National PTA.

A reform slate of candidates won election to the Georgia PTA board a few months ago, overcoming roadblocks erected by embattled leaders fighting to retain control. The first focus of the reform board  was rebuilding the organization, and it appears it is succeeding.

Things had gotten so bad last year that the National PTA imposed sanctions after a hostile takeover by a dissident faction in January almost brought the parent-powering volunteer organization to ruin. In a July letter, James L. Accomando, president of National PTA, warned the Georgia PTA board:

Indeed, National PTA fears the elections will further damage PTA's name and be repudiated by Georgia PTA members. Any appearance of stifling a Georgia PTA member's ability to run for officer positions or any perception of a closed or rigged process will further harm PTA at all levels. This is the time for flexibility, transparency, and member-responsiveness by the Georgia PTA board. National PTA strongly encourages Georgia PTA to identify ways to open the election process.

If Georgia PTA disregards our strong recommendation, National PTA expects disarray and parliamentary challenges at your CLT, legal ramifications, and the involvement of the Georgia Attorney General.

The National PTA Board of Directors is closely watching Georgia PTA's actions and the harm being done to the PTA brand. Lack of action by the Georgia PTA board to open the election process and alleviate members' concerns will be considered an affront to National PTA's members who reside in Georgia, a demonstrable lack of care by the Georgia PTA for the PTA brand and a willful disregard for the reputation of PTA at all levels. The National PTA Board of Directors cannot allow the brand to be further tarnished and will take appropriate action.

Here is the statement to Georgia PTA members from the state executive committee announcing the end of probation:

We are pleased to announce that on December 20, National PTA removed Georgia PTA from probation! Georgia PTA is now in good standing with National PTA's Standards of Affiliation.

Two stipulations were stated that need to be addressed:

•Georgia PTA's 2016-17 audit must be completed with verification submitted to National PTA no later than January 31, 2018. Verification will include a copy of the auditor's management letter and any notations included in the audit.

Status update: Preliminary audit has been completed. Draft of auditor notes has been received and Georgia PTA is creating a new financial controls procedure document to incorporate auditor's recommendations.

•Revised Georgia PTA Policies and Procedures must be submitted to National PTA no later than May 1, 2018. Policies must align with the hierarchy of governing documents.

Status update: Policies and Procedures have been updated and inconsistencies between P&P and Bylaws have been corrected. Section 13 has been removed in entirety. A new Conflict Resolution stand-alone document is being developed. Any and all policies that affect member procedures and rights will be removed and posted separately on the Georgia PTA website. Specifically, all information about elections will be in a stand alone document that will be posted and available for any member to see.

Additional news:

Executive Committee members have been meeting with school superintendents to rebuild communication and trust. We need the support of all our superintendents as we move forward rebuilding membership. We also need every PTA leader and member's support. Our voice grows stronger with every member!

Thank you to all of you, our members, for your continued support. Georgia PTA is here for you. We will continue to work to make PTA relevant to every member and to be a voice for every child! Let's finish the second half of the year strong!

Georgia PTA Executive Committee