Background on Resolution Criteria

In This Section

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Resolutions submitted for consideration during the annual convention must be approved by the National PTA Board of Directors in accordance to the District of Columbia Code Nonprofit Corporation Act.

What is a resolution?

A resolution is an original main motion that is brought forward at convention because it addresses an issue of nationwide concern related to the education, health, safety or welfare of children and youth, or parental education and family engagement. A resolution outlines action and is submitted in writing.

What form does a resolution take?

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

Why submit a resolution?

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

Who submits a resolution?

Local, council, district/region or state PTAs, the National PTA Board of Directors or committees may submit resolutions. Criteria for resolutions to be considered at the convention is the same for all PTA bodies.

What criteria must each resolution meet?

Each resolution submitted to National PTA is subject to consideration by the Resolutions Committee.

Submitters must be available to work with the Resolutions Committee to make necessary changes to meet these criteria.

Substantive Criteria

A resolution must:

  • Relate to the education, health, safety or welfare of children and youth, or parental education and family engagement.
  • Be in harmony with the purposes and the basic policies of National PTA, as stated in the national bylaws and 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 National PTA’s Government Affairs team 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 for each “Whereas” statement.
  • 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 five years ago).
  • Not use PTA materials as documentation.

Background Material

A submitted 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 and secondary source materials (examples of excluded materials include newspaper articles, editorials and materials from other organizations intended for lobbying and advocacy purposes).
  • Include on each page the author, title, publisher, page number and date for each source. Online sources should include the URL, along with page number.
  • When including articles, submit them in their entirety.

Format Criteria

You can request a sample resolution at

A submitted 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 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 resolution, no more than 250 words, that captures the intent and scope of the full 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.

What are the other requirements?

All resolutions packets must be RECEIVED electronically in PDF format at no later than 11:59 PM EST on Oct. 15 of the year prior to the convention in which the resolution will be voted upon (if accepted by the National PTA Board of Directors). Additionally, the resolution (page 3 only) must also be submitted in Word format. 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.

Faxed submissions will not be accepted.