General Information for All Committee Chairs
Committees are the practical and democratic way of involving the membership in attaining PTA goals. The work and goals of each local unit determine the number and nature of the committees necessary for that unit. All associations need the basic committees, such as parent involvement, program, budget, membership, legislation, publications/communications, and hospitality. Other committees are determined by the goals and needs of the unit, or as the bylaws prescribe. Many, but not all, of the committees at the local unit level have parallels at the state and national level.
Duties of Committee Chairs
- Present a plan of work to the Executive Committee for approval.
- Maintain a procedure book.
- Research and seek information in the content area.
- Attend local, council, district, state, and national meetings whenever possible.
- Respond promptly to correspondence or requests and keep accurate files.
- Make reports at general meetings when requested.
- Give records, reports, procedure books and other materials promptly to successors.
Suggestions for Committee Chairpersons
- Refer to the appropriate sections of the Leadership Resource Guide, procedure book and plan of work for useful tools to guide all committee work.
- Remember that the president is a member of your committee and should be advised of and asked to attend all meetings.
- Remember only the president has the authority to sign contracts on behalf of the association.
- Work closely with other chairpersons and other committees and, where possible, combine your efforts so that duplication will be avoided and programs and projects will be strengthened by new ideas and manpower.
- Research, initiate, plan, and carry out your committee work for the year.
- Call the president when you have a report for the Executive Committee and make sure you are placed on the agenda for appropriate meetings.
- Emphasize at all times the importance and obligation of attendance of your committee members at special, general and committee meetings.
- Before adding members to your committee, confer with the president.
- Secure approval before undertaking any substantial work.
- Send out flyers, notices, publicity, etc., after getting the consent of the president.
- Remember the Purposes and basic policies that guide PTA activities.
- Spend money only with prior approval and within an approved budget.
- Your attendance at any state, district and council PTA meetings and community meetings pertinent to your chairpersonship and sphere of interest is expected. Inform your committee members; invite them to attend with you. Always send a substitute when you are unable to attend.
- When you have completed your chairpersonship term, pass the procedure book to your successor, along with any suggestions you may have that will be of help in carrying out the duties of the next chairpersonship.
- Train your successor.
What Is a PTA “Plan of Work”?
PTA plans of work are one or two page summaries of goals, plans and resources needed by a committee (see sample) prepared annually by each committee chair, usually in the summer before school resumes. The president, with some or all of the officers, reviews and approves the proposed plans of each PTA committee. We suggest that a member of the budget committee be part of that review. Once approved, the budget committee works to insure that adequate financial resources are available (in the approved budget) to support the committee’s work during the year.
A plan of work typically addresses the following topics or areas:
- Goals or purpose of committee or program
- Steps to accomplish goals (include timeline and significant dates)
- Details each committee member’s responsibilities (with time estimates)
- Estimated revenue to be generated and estimated costs or expenses