We are less than three months away from the November 3rd election. In addition to deciding national and local leadership, registered California voters will be able to make choices that affect funding for our public education. In many communities, local elections for city council and school board will have a direct impact on your school communities.
Comply with Regulations
PTA is a powerful voice advocating for issues affecting the health and well-being of every child and using this voice is vital when it comes to creating informed citizens. With the strength of our collective voice, comes a huge responsibility, particularly in holding to the regulations of a 501(c)(3) organization.
To maintain the IRS tax-exempt status and continue to receive tax-deductible contributions, a PTA may not participate in any type of political campaign or other activity on behalf of or in opposition to a candidate for any public office. Nor may a PTA devote more than an insubstantial part of its volunteer activity and expenditures to influence the outcome of ballot measures and other legislation.
Host a Candidate Forum
Just because you are not able to endorse any candidate for office, your PTA is able, and encouraged, to host a candidate forum which will give the opportunity for all the candidates to address, and answer, questions from your community in a forum focused on specific issues pertaining to our interests. Hosting a candidate forum, and inviting members from the greater community, is a terrific opportunity to introduce and showcase PTA Advocacy in action. Visit CAPTA’s website for more information on hosting a candidate forum, and consider partnering with your local League of Women Voters (see additional resources below), which can bring their decades of experience in hosting non-partisan voter forums to your event.
Proposition 15: Schools and Communities First
California PTA has endorsed Proposition 15: Schools and Communities First (SCF). Because CAPTA has endorsed Prop 15, your PTA does not have to take any additional actions to promote the adopted position or share information. Your local PTA may either choose to additionally endorse the proposition or stay neutral. While your PTA is not required to actively support this adopted position, it should not, as an organization, vote to oppose Prop 15.
If you would like to host a Proposition 15 information session at your meeting, like the one we hosted at Monday's meeting, CAPTA has partnered with Schools and Communities First to develop a PTA specific and approved presentation. You may use the following form to request an approved speaker to come to your meeting or event:
Please keep these points in mind during this election season:
- Your PTA is never allowed to endorse any candidate for office
- You may not invite a candidate for office to speak at a PTA event unless all candidates have been invited and are given equal time. Have a candidate forum instead!
- This includes current school board members who may be reporting on something seemingly not related to the election
- If a PTA member is running for office, be very mindful of their participation in PTA meetings and make sure discussion is related items at hand and could not be perceived as electioneering
- Your PTA may endorse a bond or ballot measure provided you follow PTA and school guidelines
- and your PTA association has voted to endorse said measure with the vote recorded in the minutes. (see additional resources below)
- You may personally endorse a candidate or ballot measure but may not use any current, or past, PTA affiliation as part of the endorsement; use something like “local parent leader” instead.
Register to Vote - Check Your Status
All registered voters will automatically receive a mail-in ballot for the November 3, 2020, General Election. Since early voting starts on October 5th, it is best to make sure you are registered and have your status verified as soon as possible. You may track your ballot: when it is mailed to you, received after you send it in, and counted if you register here
). This only tracks your ballot and not how you voted.
Voters are still able to vote in person, up to 11 days early. To help alleviate overwhelming the voting centers, during a pandemic, please take advantage of either mail-in or early in-person voting.
Additional Voting Resources
League of Women Voters
Resources for Ballot Measures
Campaign Reporting Rules
CSBA Guidelines for use of public (school) resources