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District Council Questions & Answers

1. What is a Council?

A Council is a group of three or more local PTA/PTSA Units organized under the authority of the New York State Congress of Parents and Teachers, Inc., and operates under ByLaws approved by New York State PTA.



2. What is a Council composed of?

A Council is composed of member units. Each member unit is represented by the its President and five delegates and by the Principal of its school who participate in council affairs as Representatives of their Unit, not as individuals. The member units of the Mineola District Council of PTAs are: The Cross Street PTA, The Hampton Street PTA, The Jackson Avenue PTA, The Meadow Drive PTA, The Mineola Middle School PTA, The Mineola High School PTSA and the Special Education PTA. The voting body of the Mineola District Council consists of the officers of the council, standing committees, the representatives of each member unit, the Superintendent of Schools or his representative, a teacher representative, and a School Board representative.



3. Who can attend a District Council Meeting?

Council Meetings are open to all members of the units comprising the council. Meetings should be held often enough to accomplish council work but not so often as to interfere with unit meetings or to overburden council and unit leaders. The Mineola District Council of PTAs meets at least five times a year, usually on the fourth Monday of the month. Meeting dates are published on the the School District Calendar.



4. What is the Council's purpose?

A Council:

  • Builds stronger, more effective PTAs
  • Provides leadership training
  • Engages in worthwhile community service projects
  • Broadens and deepens public understanding of home-school cooperation.
  • Cooperates with other organizations to achieve common goals within PTA framework
  • Is a link through which local PTAs can work on projects or programs beyond the scope of a single unit
  • Coordinates the efforts of local PTA/PTSAs
  • Is a channel of communication between school administrators, school boards, and the general public



5. What does a Council provide?    

A Council provides:

  • An opportunity for local units and their presidents to inform, instruct and inspire each other through the exchange of ideas and plans, and to solve mutual problems through meetings and workshops
  • Strength to united planning efforts to solve community-wide problems affecting children and youth
  • An opportunity for study groups to work on specific areas of interest
  • Schools of Instruction in cooperation with its district PTA


6. What does a Council help each PTA to do?

A Council helps each PTA to:

  • Learn and use good PTA practices and apply national/state PTA policies
  • Increase its capacity for service to home, school, and community
  • Compare methods of work and share problem-solving information and techniques with other member PTAs
  • Keep informed at all times on education developments and trends, on recent research in child growth and development, and on legislation affecting children


7. What may PTA units do about school district budget votes and school board elections?

After careful review and consideration of the proposed budget, a PTA unit may take a position to support, educate about or oppose it. If the PTA's position is to be publicized, it is important to include an explanation. In accordance with state education law, flyers or newsletters announcing the date of the school budget and encouraging people to vote may be sent home with children. However if a PTA wishes to distribute flyers or newsletters encouraging a "yes" or "no" vote, the PTA may not reproduce the flyers or newsletters using school copy machines or paper and may not send the flyers or newsletters home with children. The PTA may not use school phones to communicate its position to people via a phone chain.

In order for a unit or council to take a position on a proposed budget in the name of the unit, a vote of its general membership must be taken. In order for a council to take a position, an instructed vote is required. If only the executive board of a unit or council votes to take a position, it must be clearly specified in any letters, publicity, etc. which body has taken this position.

The PTA is a not-for-profit corporation with a tax exemption under IRS rules, which state that such organizations may not make written or oral statements for or against candidates for public office, including those running for school boards. Any group activity in support of a specific candidate on the part of a unit or council is a violation of the nonpartisan policy of the PTA.

Although PTA units and councils may not endorse a candidate, PTA members may do so on an individual basis without using their PTA titles or affiliation. Officers should realize that active campaigning for or against a candidate for public office would probably be viewed as a PTA endorsement. According to the NYS PTA, "PTA leaders and active, visible PTA members would be well advised to postpone partisan political activity while serving in positions of PTA leadership