Virtual Meeting FAQs through October 15, 2020
I have no idea how to find a way to do a virtual meeting? Where do I start to look?
Go to the internet and type in “teleconferencing” or “conference calls,” or refer to the virtual meeting tools webpage.
If there is no election because school is closed, does the current board roll over to the next school year?
No. According to the Bylaws, the current board's term ends at the end of the fiscal year. An election should be held as close to the month listed in your Bylaws as possible. An election must be held prior to the end of the fiscal year.
Is it mandatory that we hold a virtual Membership Meeting?
Yes, elections can only be held through a virtual meeting between now and October 15, 2020. Matters such as budget, Bylaws, and standing rules may be voted on via email between now and October 15, 2020.
Is it ok to post the documents for the meeting on our website and social media?
No. Minutes are read only to the body creating them, i.e., Executive Board minutes are for the Executive Board to approve and membership meeting minutes are for the membership to approve. Minutes protect the association and its dues-paying members. Unless password-protected, do not post on websites. Do not publish in newsletters or post on doors for non-members to access.
How do we handle translation of a virtual meeting?
See if the application or tool you are using has a translation option. Test it before the meeting. If it does not offer that option, find someone from the school community who can do translation. The translator(s) would need to be on the actual call, translating in real time. Prior to the event make sure that person knows the order of what is happening during the meeting and work out how the translation process will work during the call. It is very important to make all our parents feel included.
What if we do not get quorum?
A PTA must have quorum in order to conduct any business in a virtual meeting or vote by email.
Can my PTA still be added to JoinPTA.org to make things easier for the volunteers?
Yes. Please fill out the secure ACH Authorization Agreement here to be included on JoinPTA.org.
My PTA does not have a way for members to join virtually, should we wait to hold virtual meetings or elections?
The PTA can still conduct a virtual meeting or election. Their community members just won't have the opportunity to join ahead of time. Texas PTA recommends adding your PTA to JoinPTA.org. It is free to your PTA and convenient to anyone who wants to join virtually. Your PTA can be added as quickly as 48 hours after completing the secure ACH Authorization Agreement (here) if you notify us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, otherwise it may take a few business days.
Can a meeting include something not listed on the agenda?
As this is not a Special Meeting, as defined by your Bylaws, business not listed on the agenda can be discussed and voted on.
Do we need a majority or two-thirds for adoption of motions?
Check your Bylaws to determine whether the item being voted on requires a majority or two-thirds vote for adoption.
Do all votes require a ballot?
No. Elections will require a ballot for all contested offices. All other votes may be voice votes as long as you can easily tell the prevailing side.
If a position is contested, do I have to wait for the ballots to be counted or can I move on?
Elections must be held one office at a time and, if contested, you must wait until the voting results have been announced before moving to the next officer.
How will members know the qualifications of each candidate in a contested election?
If a position is contested, each candidate must have 2 minutes to talk about their qualifications.
How can we make voting anonymous?
A sample has been provided on the virtual meeting tools webpage.
If a slated candidate is not a member, how do they attend the meeting?
Slated candidates or someone that may be nominated from the floor may attend as an approved guest but shall not vote if they are not a member.
Our Nominating Committee posted the slate already. How do we run our election now?
The slate of officers must be posted at least 7 days prior to the virtual election meeting. If not, all candidates must run from the floor.
Our Nominating Committee did not finish their work. How do we get candidates?
The Executive Board must vote on one of the following options: a) only accept notice of intent to run from the floor, up to 5 days prior to the meeting, or b) allow candidates wishing to run from the floor to state that intention in the meeting, or c) both.
If our PTA chooses to accept nominations from the floor in advance of the meeting, what is the deadline to submit that intent before the meeting?
They must submit their intent to run from the floor at least 5 days before the meeting if that is the option your PTA has chosen.
How do we collect votes?
A ballot, including all candidates for that position, must be emailed to members in attendance at your virtual election meeting, after all candidates finish speaking. Take care to send the ballot to members only and not any candidates who are not yet members. Voting must stay open for 2 minutes. A teller must make sure the number of votes cast is not more than the number of attendees.
What if we have a tie?
If voting results in a tie, you must reballot (create a copy of your form in advance just in case).
NEW How do we complete our financial reconciliation this year?
You have several options available to you. Please click here for all the necessary information.
Can an executive board put together a proposed budget to be presented to general membership without appointing their Budget and Finance Committee or if the Budget and Finance Committee are unable to complete their work creating the proposed budget?
At this time, we want to make things as easy as possible to get the necessary business of the association done. First, most PTAs have language in their standing rules detailing who serves on this committee. If the PTA does not have language in their standing rules, then the committee is appointed by the President with executive board approval. The Bylaws state the Treasurer is chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. If the committee is unable to meet virtually or is not appointed before the scheduled meeting, the Treasurer may present a proposed budget for fiscal year 2020-2021 using the current year's budget versus actuals as a guide. Normally, the proposed budget is presented by the Treasurer to the PTA executive board for consideration and then to the PTA membership for approval. It is ok if it cannot be presented to the executive board for consideration before the membership vote due to time constraints. They will have the opportunity to vote as part of the membership vote. At the first membership meeting of the new school year, the Treasurer presents amendments to the budget to reflect any planned income or expenses that have been submitted to the executive board through Plans of Work since the budget was first adopted.
Is it ok to present our financials at this virtual meeting?
The Bylaws require that the Treasurer present the financial report at membership meetings, Executive Board meetings, and other times when requested by the Executive Board or the members. As the procedures above include verifying membership, you may present the financial report during virtual Executive Board and membership meetings. Remember not to post your financials on your social media channels or on a website that does not have a password protected membership section.
During this quarantine, it is impossible for our Treasurer to obtain two signatures on our checks. What can we do in order to pay people in a timely manner?
- During this time, it may become necessary for a PTA to vote electronically to suspend their two signature requirement for checks in their standing rules. A majority vote of the membership is required to suspend a rule.
- The following procedures must be followed in order to suspend a rule:
○ Because this is not coming from a committee, the board must vote to suspend the rule. The procedures for emergency voting of the board must be followed. It is highly recommended the board determine which funds requests/bills may be paid and any thresholds for the dollar amount of the checks that may be written with one signer.
○ Once the board has agreed to suspend the rule, you must get membership approval. The procedures for temporary electronic voting by the membership through October 15, 2020 must be followed.
How do we approve our budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year?
It is essential to have a budget in place at all times. A budget for the next fiscal year should be developed so that it may be adopted at the final membership meeting of the current fiscal year. The PTA would present the proposed budget for adoption at the last virtual membership meeting of the year.
What do we do with donated items now that we can no longer have the event they were donated for (like a silent auction)?
If the donations were solicited specifically for a canceled event and not as a general donation to the PTA, the PTA would need to contact the donors and ask them what they would like you to do with the donations. You should make the request via email so that you have written proof of the decision from the donor. If they give you permission to keep the donations, then you should vote as an association on how to use those items throughout the remainder of the fiscal year, or hold on to those donations so that the 2020-2021 membership can vote on how to use those items.
How do we form our Financial Reconciliation Committee?
According to your Bylaws you can appoint a Financial Reconciliation Committee at an Executive Board Meeting.
Are we allowed to get a debit card in lieu of writing checks?
You must still either adopt an E-Commerce Policy or add the e-commerce language to your standing rules at a virtual membership meeting. Remember that changes to standing rules, like Bylaws, must be approved by Texas PTA prior to the new standing rule becoming effective.