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Background on Resolution Criteria

Convention Resolutions may be rejected by the National PTA Board of Directors in accordance to the District of Columbia Code Nonprofit Corporation Act if it is deemed to be not in the best interest of the organization.

What is a convention resolution?

A convention resolution is an original main motion that is brought forward at convention because of its importance, length, or complexity, and is submitted in writing.

What form does a convention resolution take?

A convention resolution usually consists of two main parts: Whereas: The preamble portion of the convention resolution consisting of a statement(s) providing information on the convention resolution, reasons for the convention resolution, and why it should be adopted. Resolved: The main motion. The Resolved statements constitute the request for action and express the opinion or will of the group.

Why submit a convention resolution?

Convention resolutions call for action by National PTA or its constituent bodies (state, district, council, or local units). National PTA convention resolutions seek to address problems, situations, or concerns that affect children and youth nationwide and that require nationwide action for solution.

Who submits a convention resolution?

Local, council, district/region, or state PTAs, the National PTA Board of Directors, or committees may submit convention resolutions. Convention resolution criteria is the same for all PTA bodies.

What criteria must each convention resolution meet?

Each convention resolution submitted to National PTA is subject to consideration by the Convention Resolution Special Committee.

Submitters must be available to work with the convention resolutions special committee to make necessary changes to meet these criteria.

Substantive Criteria

A convention resolution must:

  • Relate to the education, health, safety, or welfare of children and youth, or parental education and involvement of parents.
  • Be in harmony with the purposes and the basic policies of National PTA, as stated in the bylaws of every constituent organization of National PTA.
  • Concern a matter that is national in scope, written with a national focus, and requiring nationwide action for solution.
  • Demonstrate with background information that the issue is national in scope.
  • State a position not previously adopted by National PTA. (Copies of current adopted positions are available for reference on the National PTA website or by contacting the National PTA Information Center at
  • Contain “Whereas” statements and “Resolved” statements that are written in language appropriate for national consideration.
  • Include “Whereas” statements that do not cite the Purposes or Position Statements of National PTA. (These are already established and assumed, though Purposes or Position Statements can be included in the rationale).
  • Provide three background references from different sources for each “Whereas.”
  • Cite a variety of independent sources, which are required as proof.
  • Use references that are bracketed and numbered in the background material, indicating which “Whereas” statement they support.
  • Cite materials that are current (published no more than six years ago).
  • Not use PTA materials as documentation.

Background Material

A submitted convention resolution must:

  • Contain background materials that are factual and verifiable. It can include, but is not limited to copies of information such as education, safety, and welfare articles or updates; documented research; pertinent laws; government publications and regulations; and articles from professional publications (examples of non-verifiable documents include, personal letters, logs of phone calls, or e-mail printouts, which are not good documentation because they cannot be verified.)
  • Include primary source materials (examples of non-primary materials include newspaper articles, abstracts, editorials, and materials from other organizations intended for lobbying and advocacy purposes).
  • Include on each page the author, title, publisher, and date for each source. Online sources should include the URL.
  • When including articles, submit them in their entirety.

Format Criteria

(A sample resolution is available by contacting the National PTA Information Center –

A submitted convention resolution must:

  • Be accompanied by the appropriate and properly completed cover sheet.
  • Have the cover sheet signed by the president of the submitted constituent organization. If from a local unit, council, or organized region/district, the convention resolution must also be forwarded to the state PTA president for signature. (This does not necessarily indicate approval by the state PTA, but does assure that the submitting group is in good standing).
  • Contain a summary statement of the convention resolution, no more than 150 words, that captures the intent and scope of the full convention resolution.
  • Include a table of contents.
  • Include a reference sheet that substantiates each “Whereas” statement by referencing the page or pages that provides documentation in the submitted background material.
  • Include no more than 25 double-sided or 50 single-sided pages (numbered consecutively, printed in type no smaller than 10 point) for background data.

What are the other requirements?

All convention resolutions must be received in the National PTA office by November 15. (In the event that the 15th falls on the weekend, the convention resolution will be accepted on the next business day. Convention resolutions received after the deadline will not be presented at that year’s national convention).

Early submission is encouraged. In the event that parts of the resolution or background information are missing you can be notified, or should fine-tuning be needed, a committee member can work with you so that your submission can be made before the deadline date.

Facsimile (faxes) or electronic mail (e-mail) will not be accepted.

When can an emergency resolution be submitted?

Emergency resolutions may be submitted only if the urgency of the subject matter has arisen after the established deadline. They must conform to all established criteria, be approved by the Resolutions Committee, and be approved for consideration by a two-thirds vote of the delegates in order to be eligible for consideration. If an emergency resolution is approved by the Resolutions Committee, the submitting group must provide enough copies for the entire convention body and must deliver them to the National PTA convention office on the first day of convention.