What are Bylaws?

These are the written rules that must be followed. Bylaws deal with the structure of the association and generally include a mission statement and provide for meetings, elections of a board of directors and officers, filling vacancies, notices, types, and duties of officers, committees, and assessments. Bylaws are, in effect, a contract among members, and must be formally adopted and/or amended by a 2/3 vote by general membership with 30 days’ notice given. Bylaws are subject to the approval of Wisconsin PTA and must be submitted every three years for review.

If you can’t find a copy of your unit’s bylaws, contact our office to obtain one. All officers should be familiar with the local unit bylaws. Any member has a right to view them.

Unless your bylaws are currently due for review and submission for approval to Wisconsin PTA, you do not have to update your bylaws.  Check your MemberHub site under the Compliance Tab>Submissions

Local Units can submit Bylaws by uploading them to Submissions under the Compliance Tab in their MemberHub.


View the current bylaws by clicking the corresponding link:

Wisconsin PTA Bylaws

National PTA Bylaws

Local and Council Units can submit their documents to the Wisconsin PTA by using their Compliance Tab in their MemberHub.

The following forms are to be used by local units under Wisconsin PTA group exemption that serve one school.

Local Unit Bylaws Template (Word)

Local Unit Bylaws Fill-in Template (PDF)

These forms are for use by local units that serve an area rather than one school.

Community Bylaws Packet

These forms are to be used by local units whom are no longer under the group exemption because they were reinstated by the IRS and now have their own tax exemption.

Reinstated Unit Bylaws Packet

This is for use by councils only – units that belong to a council should use one of the three local unit packets listed above.

Council Bylaws Template


To consider changes to the bylaws, a small committee should be appointed to study the proposed changes and to make recommendations to the board for their approval. Then, 30-days’ notice of the proposed changes must be given to all members. A bylaws change requires a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at the general meeting if 30-days’ notice of the change was not given, and a majority vote if 30-days’ notice was given.

The entire board should have a copy of your current bylaws. Upon request, copies should be made available to all members.  A great place to store this document is as a pdf in your MemberHub under FILES.  This document should be set as “public” so that anyone that is a member can view the document.

The quorum is the minimum number of members who must be present to conduct business at a PTA or board meeting. The number for your unit is set by your bylaws. If a quorum is not met at a meeting, then a vote cannot be taken.


The Wisconsin PTA Bylaws allow for amendment proposals. After reviewing the Wisconsin State PTA Bylaws, if you feel there is a need to amend any portion please submit the amendment attached to a Convention Action Cover Sheet. Each amendment must be submitted with a separate cover sheet. The Wisconsin State PTA Bylaws Amendment and cover sheet can be found here. Proposed state bylaws amendments must be sent to the Wisconsin State PTA Office no later than January 15th.

The following links will take you to the National PTA website for in-depth information:

PTA Bylaws Overview & Tipsheet
Parliamentary Procedures
Installation Ceremony Ideas

Standing Rules should list the specific responsibilities of each committee and the various chairmen, who work with the vice president under the first vice president’s title.
If the organization has supplies and/or equipment, the Standing Rules should state who is responsible for them and where they would be kept.
Standing Rules might also list:
Who has the responsibility for securing the retiring president’s pin and its inscription.
If there is to be an installation of officers, who is responsible for selecting the installing officers and when the installation should take place.
Assets of the association; popcorn machine, computer equipment; cell phone; office supplies.
In short, Bylaws are hard and fast rules that may be amended only with thirty days’ prior written notice to the membership.
Standing Rules are the details of monthly PTA work that may be changed from administration to administration or from meeting to meeting. They require a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote without notice and a majority vote with 30 days notice to adopt or amend. Standing rules make the frequent/common actions simpler and provide for fairness and continuity of board decisions. They are the details of daily PTA work.

One of the responsibilities Wisconsin PTA has as your parent organization is to ensure that all our local units/councils are governing themselves properly as public charities and are using sound financial and business procedures. As an affiliate member of state and national organizations, all units/councils have the responsibility of aligning their mission and structure to that of the parent organizations. Attached you will find the Wisconsin PTA Standards of Affiliation for Local Units/Councils. This document contains your rights and benefits as a PTA Affiliate and also outlines your responsibilities to the PTA organization and the federal and state governments.

Resolutions are what give your PTA the groundwork to speak as a whole.  Units can speak on resolutions the National and State PTA have already passed or make their own as long as they follow the Objects and Mission of PTA.

View the

Wisconsin PTA Resolutions

Basic Policy Guide (to be used in conjunction with The Resolutions)

Legislative Program (to be used in conjunction with The Resolutions)

National PTA Resolutions

Call for Wisconsin PTA Resolutions / Call to Rescind


What does it mean to rescind?

Rescinding is the legal action needed to retire a motion.  WI PTA’s current resolutions, basic policy and legislative program all contain the items we take action on.  Each important item was a motion our membership has voted upon and passed to reflect their views.  Items in these documents that are outdated, no longer relevant or inappropriate can be submitted by units or councils for consideration to be rescinded.  Once rescinded items are retired but continue to remain on historical record.