Election Campaigns and
the Role of the PTA
Important Information for PTA Leaders
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

Please encourage all your members, who are eligible to vote, to either register and/or check their voter status (https://registertovote.ca.gov/)

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 (whereismyballot.sos.ca.gov). 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

National PTA

League of Women Voters

Resources for Ballot Measures

Campaign Reporting Rules

CSBA Guidelines for use of public (school) resources

Census 2020
We have one month left to get everyone counted, and our numbers are lower than the last time we counted. We need everyone to encourage friends, family, neighbors to make sure everyone in their family is counted! The 2020 United States Census will determine federal funding for California and our community for the next 10 years (through 2030).  

Your response matters! (https://2020census.gov/)  

This funding supports important community needs, including free/reduced school lunch, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medi-Cal, Head Start, grants and loans for college students, adult education, housing, roads and highways, and the number of representatives we have in Washington D.C. Census results affect our community every day. (https://2020census.gov/)
A note on privacy: all residents should take the census, including citizens, permanent residents, US Visa holders, and undocumented Californians. The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep your information confidential. This law protects your answers to the 2020 Census. Under Title 13, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies. The law ensures that your private data is protected and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court. The answers you provide are used only to produce statistics. You are kept anonymous: The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or anyone else in your home.  Read more about Census privacy here (https://2020census.gov/en/data-protection.html)