Start a PTA at Your School
As a member of the PTA, your school’s volunteers will have a strong support system and network of resources to benefit the families and students at your school while also retaining autonomy to decide how best to support the unique needs and interests of your local school community.
All PTAs are noncommercial, nonsectarian, nonpartisan and organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code. The PTA provides access to programs, event toolkits, and grants that your volunteers can use to help build school spirit, celebrate students and create the types of traditions that help your families and your community get excited about learning together. Best practices and governance from a nation-wide network ensures compliance with non-profit law and personalized support when your community encounters a problem. Our shared nation-wide advocacy program and issue specific resources have been providing parents with a voice in school policies for more than 100 years.
- Governance. All PTAs in Virginia are organized under Uniform Bylaws and a Local Organizational Structure determined by members of your school community. Annual reporting under the Standards of Affiliation helps maintain your PTA’s tax-exempt status as well as eligibility for grants, student recognition and scholarships, and volunteer awards programs.
- Community Participation & Membership. All members of your school community are welcome to participate in events and meetings. PTAs work to support all children and your entire school community. However, when it comes time to elect officers and vote on the budget or other matters placed before membership, you must be a member to vote. Every person who joins your local school PTA automatically becomes a member of Virginia PTA and National PTA. Annual membership dues are determined by the members of each local school PTA and include Virginia PTA dues of $1.50 and National PTA dues of $2.25 which are collected and paid by your school PTA.
- Ongoing Training. Virginia PTA and National PTA provide on-going training, sample templates, and resources so your volunteers can feel confident in the basics of running a strong PTA.
- PTA Management Platform. Virginia PTA provides a Memberhub account to all local units and councils free of charge! MemberHub provides your PTA with an on-line school directory, e-store, volunteer sign-up, school calendar, fundraising platform, website hosting and more.
- Collaboration & Advocacy. As a member of Virginia PTA, your volunteers will be able to participate in roundtables and events to share ideas and best practices with other PTA leaders from across your city/county, Virginia and the United States. Our shared mission and focus on family engagement in schools helps volunteers find community and support for their work. Shared conversation also helps identify resource gaps or areas of concern across our schools that may require a change in policies, funding or legislation to better support family engagement and the education, physical and mental health, welfare, and safety of children and youth. Our statewide advocacy program and topic specific resources provides PTAs and their members with tools to advocate for improved resources to support students.
READY TO START A PTA?
As a grassroots organization, PTA begins at the local level. Virginia PTA is here to guide you through the steps for each local PTA to become an independent nonprofit business, including the requirements necessary to ensure compliance with state and federal laws. The process is unique to each potential local PTA, but there are general steps that every local PTA will take to begin chartering a brand new unit or in the re-establishment of a previous unit that hasn’t held elections for officers in more than a year. Review this information on what to expect.
To begin the process with Virginia PTA, please complete the application form and email it to the Vice President of Local Unit Operations at Charter@vapta.org to set up an initial meeting/phone call to discuss the process for chartering and the benefits of joining the Virginia PTA.