Ballot Measures and Candidates for Office: PTA Do’s & Don’ts

As 501(c)(3) organizations, PTAs must follow special rules regarding ballot measures and candidates for public office.

In brief, PTA’s may advocate for or against ballot measures such as initiatives and referenda, but their spending is subject to IRS lobbying limits.

On the other hand, PTA’s may NOT endorse candidates for public office, contribute to their campaigns, rate them according to their votes on key issues, or allow unequal access to PTA facilities or events. PTA officers may endorse candidates and contribute to their campaigns, but must do so as individuals and may not use their PTA titles. In fact, if well known as such within a community, it is best for PTA officers to avoid partisan endorsements to avoid giving the impression of an organizational endorsement.

There are special rules for inviting candidates for public office to PTA meetings and functions.

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